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Mathews begins block grant process

Mathews residents found out a bit more last week about a Community Development Block Grant the county’s Department of Planning and Zoning wants to pursue for the Court House area.

Planning and zoning director John Shaw told a small gathering of residents at Mathews Memorial Library last Wednesday evening that the grant could ultimately provide as much as $700,000 to help curb such blighting influences as dilapidated or deteriorated buildings, broken sidewalks, inadequate storm drainage, and building facades in need of repair.

CDBGs are funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). Shaw said that the DHCD considers "economic blight" as a contributing factor to "disinvestment in a community," so that the presence of vacant or partially empty buildings would be taken into consideration in a determination of whether to award a grant.

The first step in the pr...

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