ROWLAND — The town Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved a motion to move forward with an application for a Community Development Block Grant that could bring $350,000 to $375,000 to the downtown area, according to Town Clerk Blake Proctor.
“The grant will take down old dilapidated houses, rehab several houses, fix the roof on the senior center and do some work on the mini-parks downtown,” Proctor said. “It’s a multi-faceted grant.”
The grant, provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is part of a program that “works to ensure decent affordable housing, to provide services to the most vulnerable in our communities, and to create jobs through the expansion and retention of businesses,” according to the department’s website.
The grant-writing process will cost the town $2,000, Proctor said.
The department’s website says towns are selected based on a “formula comprised of several measures of community need, including the extent of poverty, population, housing overcrowding, age of housing, and population growth lag in relationship to other metropolitan areas.”
Also on Tuesday, the board decided that the town’s customers will continue to pay $23.50 per month despite a 1.2 percent increase in sanitation rates from Waste Management, a private company that handles trash pickup for the town, Proctor said.
“We decided that since it was only going to be about $1,200 to $1,500 per year increase, we would eat the cost,” Proctor said.
In other action on Tuesday, the board:
n Heard from Tryone Miles of the Robeson County Health Department about the Rowland’s participation in the Teen Outreach Program, a program created by the North Carolina Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative that addresses topics of puberty, teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases with teenagers.
n Heard from Chal Smith, who disputed his utility bill. Smith said he should not have been charged a disconnection and re-connection fee because he was only testing his water pressure.
“The water ordinance says between zero and 2,000 gallons, you pay the minimum bill,” Proctor said.