GILMER COUNTY, Ga. – Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) today announced that Gilmer County has been awarded $722,000 to make water system improvements through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. The funds will be used as part of a $1.9 million project to improve water infrastructure along Old Roundtop Road, Roundtop Road, Whispering Winds Lane and within the Lakeside Mobile Home Park.
Extending new water main lines into the area, the Ellijay-Gilmer County Water and Sewerage Authority (EGCWSA) will be extending lines to homes that have never had access to the public water system. They will be extending the mainline to communities that are currently using substandard wells or systems with heavy iron in the water as well as laying the groundwork for future plans. In fact, as this grant funds “Phase 1” of the project, Director of the EGCWSA, Gary McVey said, “After this grant is done, we’re actually going to extend even farther and, hopefully, even maybe get to the county line.”
McVey confirmed that once they reach the county line, they will pursue a connection with Pickens County Water as well. Gilmer already connects to Pickens through the Yukon Road/Talking Rock area.
“Continually maintaining and improving infrastructure is critical to the quality of life our residents enjoy,” said Speaker Ralston. “This is the kind of investment that will pay off for years to come, and I congratulate all those involved in winning this grant award for Gilmer County.”
County Commission Chairman Charlie Paris also commented on the grant saying, “These grants are competitive. You’ve got to present a good case in order to get them. And I think we’ve done that… We’re being more competitive and that’s what I like to see.”
According to Speaker Ralston’s Press Release, the CDBG program is available to eligible local governments through a competitive grant program. Each year, CDBG supports community projects that create jobs and assist citizens with low and moderate incomes. The release also stated,
Over the past decade, Georgia’s CDBG program has invested in health care facilities that have helped more than 35,000 Georgians gain access to improved health services, has provided resources for critical water and sewer improvements serving more than 177,000 residents in rural areas, has supported the construction or enhancement of community facilities to serve more than 16,000 youth and senior citizens, and has helped to create more than 6,100 new jobs through the Employment Incentive Program.