Governor Robert Bentley announces nearly $1 million in grant money for DeKalb County

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FORT PAYNE, Ala. (WHNT) - Monday, Governor Robert Bentley announced nearly $1 million in grant money that can be put to use in the DeKalb County area.

Governor Bentley addressed a crowd of state and local leaders and community members Monday morning in Fort Payne. The topic was four grants for DeKalb County.

"Community development block grants are really the lifeblood for rural Alabama and it really helps people," Governor Bentley said. "Sewer systems, water systems, and paving roads in front of people's houses."

The community development block grant is a federal program that provides communities with resources to aid in development needs. "Today we're announcing almost $1 million in those types of grants for sewer systems in Fort Payne," Bentley said, "Sylvania is getting money, also Rainsville is getting some money through the Appalachian Regional Commission."

The grants will be used to replace existing water systems in those municipalities that are in dire need of repair, provide upgrades to a science lab at Fort Payne High School, and assist with local economic development. "These are grants that I signed," Governor Bentley said. "It's federal dollars, but we have to match those through the state."

State Senator Steve Livingston represents Jackson, Madison, and DeKalb counties. He says the grants will aid in improving existing systems and further the efforts of economic development. "Continuing to have the basic infrastructure in place for our citizens to have good services, and also for our industry when they come, to have the available services that they need that are requirements for industry as they come to Alabama looking to recruit," Senator Livingston said.

Upgrading and improving infrastructure is one aspect of bringing businesses and industry to the area, so these grants are a step toward doing that. "These are the little things that keep us in place going into the future, and keep us competitive with the other communities around us that are applying for these same jobs," Livingston said.

"I understand how it is in rural Alabama, how important it is for us to help the lives of the people in this part of the state and in all rural Alabama," Governor Bentley said.