Governor Otter Awards Community Block Grants

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State and federally funded grants benefit economic development projects in Idaho counties and cities

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“The State of Idaho is pleased to be a partner with cities and counties throughout the state in encouraging economic growth and providing support in the event of natural disasters,” Governor Otter said.

Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter announced today that one Rural Community Block Grant (RCBG) and two Idaho Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) awards will be distributed to benefit infrastructure, create jobs and provide assistance for imminent threats in three Idaho communities.

“The State of Idaho is pleased to be a partner with cities and counties throughout the state in encouraging economic growth and providing support in the event of natural disasters,” Governor Otter said.

The city of Ucon will receive a $255,000 Rural Community Block Grant to install a rail switch and spur off the Eastern Idaho Railroad. This grant supports a job creation project, with Cives Steel Company locating its new structural steel fabricating plant in Ucon. One of the necessary infrastructure systems to serve the plant is railroad access, and the company is expected to initially create 50 new jobs, with potential for up to 150 jobs.

Oneida County will receive a $300,000 Community Development Block Grant to build a secondary road at the industrial park, which will create emergency access for a new business, Creative Mines. Creative Mines will utilize pumice mined in Idaho to manufacture natural stone, veneer, and manufactured stone products. The company is expected to initially create 20 new jobs, with potential for up to 40 jobs.

Finally, the city of Dubois will receive a $100,000 Community Development Block Grant in response to flooding and ice flows in Beaver Creek. In the spring of 2012, the city declared an emergency when flooding structurally damaged the 5th Street Bridge, requiring its closure. The grant will pay to replace the critical bridge.

All grant awards are reviewed and recommended by the Economic Advisory Council, and final approval is granted by the Governor.

The CDBG program supports Idaho cities and counties with the development of necessary public infrastructure. The grant program, funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is used to construct projects that benefit low- and moderate-income persons, help prevent or eliminate slum and blight conditions, or solve catastrophic health and safety threats in local areas.

The Rural Community Block Grant program is designed to provide funds to distressed rural areas for building public infrastructure in support of economic expansion and job creation. The RCBG program was created specifically for rural Idaho communities, i.e. cities with a population generally less than 10,000 or for projects that have a measurable rural benefit.

Detailed information about the Community Development Block Grant program is available at: http://commerce.idaho.gov/development-block-grants/

Detailed information about the Rural Community Block Grant program is available at: http://commerce.idaho.gov/development-block-grants/rural-block-grants/

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Megan Ronk
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