3-9-2022 – County set to get $43.7 million in state grants

Posted on: March 9th, 2022 by admin No Comments

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March 9, 2022

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By DAWN FLEMING DFLEMING@NEWSTOPICNEWS.COM

Mar 8, 2022

 

LENOIR — The state of North Carolina has begun to notify local government agencies and community organizations that their checks are in the mail.

 

The state has started to doll out over $330 million of anticipated monies to local governments and community organizations in its first round of grant disbursements, with over $43.7 million in projected allocations coming to various agencies in Caldwell County.

 

“These grant funds will help local communities invest in projects that can improve the lives of those they serve,” said Gov. Roy Cooper in Friday’s (March 4) press release. “I expect to see great work from our partners in local government and the nonprofit sector as these projects move forward.”

 

Many of the agencies have been anticipating receiving the grants and had planned projects accordingly.

 

The state has officially made the government agencies and organizations of their award amounts and notified them that allocations were on the way.

 

Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute (CCC&TI) is looking forward to receiving over $18 million in state allocations. With funds being directed toward various expansion projects including the new occupational training facility, $5 million; a new health science building, $11.5 million; and equipment for both buildings, $1.6 million.

 

“We are so appreciative of the state’s support of CCC&TI. These projects are game changers and will have wide-ranging impacts for the communities we serve.” CCC&TI President Mark Poarch said.

 

“On the Caldwell Campus in Hudson, our health sciences programs are spread out among four buildings. Having a facility that puts everything under the same roof, in a new, high-tech facility, will greatly improve the experience for our students and faculty as well as the quality of the programs preparing our students for health care careers.” said Poarch speaking about the Health Science building construction. “It’s early in the process, but we anticipate the health sciences facility being the largest building on campus and also includes a simulated hospital that will emulate what students will experience on the job.”

 

Plans call for an addition to the Occupational Training Facility on the Watauga campus.

 

“On the Watauga Campus in Boone, we’re planning a 10,000-square-foot expansion to the existing Occupational Training Facility.” said Poarch. “The project will provide space for the new construction trades programs and expanded space for our Watauga nursing programs. Both additions will help meet the growing need for construction workers and nurses for the High Country region.”

 

CCC&TI has not started the process of selecting an architect yet, but plan to do so in the near future, followed by a bid process for construction.

 

One of the largest grants will be directed toward emergency services. Caldwell County is set to receive a $8.5 million grant for the construction of a new 911 center.

 

“Working through our county commissioners, NC State Representative Destin Hall and NC State Senator Warren Daniel were instrumental in securing funding to assist the county in the construction of a new 911 Communications and Emergency Operations Center (EOC),” said Dino DiBernardi, chief of department/emergency services director, Caldwell County Emergency Services.

 

The grant will have an overarching impact on the community, extending beyond benefiting the agencies that provide services, but to all those who are served by those agencies.

 

 

“The benefits of an upgraded 911 Center and EOC extend much farther than the department itself, these centers are truly the nucleus of public safety and public services, and will impact fire, EMS, law enforcement, animal control and other local and State public safety and support entities,” said DiBernardi.

 

The grant will allow Caldwell County Emergency Services to upgrade their technology.

 

“One of the most difficult parts of modernizing 911 and emergency operations centers is securing funds for new technology, and the work of our representatives though the State budget has assisted us greatly in that respect.” said Bernardi. “By taking advantage of advanced communications and response technology, public safety and support agencies will be better prepared to support and ensure a more reliable public service during natural and manmade disasters and other emergencies, thus ensuring a safer public.”

 

Caldwell County will also receive a $275,000 grant for the purchase of a new ambulance, as well as $50,000 to support emergency management operations.

 

Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office will receive $350,000 to purchase a Bearcat tactical response unit.

 

According to sheriff’s Capt. Aarone Barlowe, the Bearcat will enable officers to more safely respond to high risk calls and it could serve as an ambulance in critical field situations.

 

Because Bearcats are customized based on individual law enforcement agencies’ needs, it will take about a year before the sheriff’s office will receive the Bearcat.

 

A grant in the amount of $5.5 million will go for repairs and renovation of the Caldwell County Courthouse. In addition to the renovations to the courthouse, Caldwell is also set to receive $3 million for repairs and renovations of county facilities and a $250,000 grant for capital improvements.

 

Caldwell County Animal Shelter will receive a grant in the amount $3.5 million to go toward its construction cost of the new animal shelter.

 

Caldwell will receive a $650,000 grant for the restoration of Abingdon Creek in Gamewell Town Park.

 

The city of Lenoir is set to receive $1.5 million grant to be used for water and sewer projects.

 

The town of Granite Falls is slated to receive two grants totaling $330,000; with $180,000 to be allocated toward the paving of the Granite Falls Recreation Center parking lot and $150,000 for recreation center improvements and sidewalks.

 

Carolina Land and Lakes Resource Conservation and Development will receive $1.5 million for its development of a new warehouse.

 

The Oakhill Ruritan Club will receive $175,000 for capital improvement to athletic facilities.

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