In the early stages of taking action to help improve its water system, the Town of Knightsville was awarded a federal grant to help cover the cost of a water system planning study.
"These planning studies are often the first step for communities that want to pursue new economic development opportunities," Lt. Governor Becky Skillman, who oversees OCRA, said in a press release about the grant. "These studies are costly for rural communities, but the state will continue to support communities that have a vision for improving the quality of life for Hoosiers."
Skillman recently awarded a $28,800 federal planning grant to the town as part of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, which is administered through Indiana's Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA).
According to Skillman, the CDBG grant program has proven to be an effective tool for community-based planning and research initiatives. (Visit www.in.gov/ocra for additional information on this grant program.)
West Central Economic Development Planner Terry Jones helped Knightsville Town Board Members through the grant process.
"We have been working since the middle of May on the process of submitting this grant application, which entails a number of lengthy steps in order to do so," Jones recently explained to The Brazil Times. "This plan document can be used for future opportunities in obtaining additional grant and/or loan funding for any future construction project the community decides to pursue."
Knightsville's grant application was submitted to the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) in September. Through OCRA, the state requests federal funds to help rural communities with a variety of projects such as sewer and water systems, community centers, health and safety programs and many others. The funding helps communities improve the quality of life and ensure the health and safety of their citizens.
The Knightsville water system serves more than 500 people in the Knightsville and Harmony communities.
According to Jones, now that the grant has been approved, Midwestern Engineers, Inc., Loogootee, Ind., will begin the process of completing the necessary plan that will guide future efforts to update the community's aging water infrastructure.
The plan will also evaluate the existing water system and provide preliminary engineering, cost estimates, and other recommendations for improvements.
Jones told The Brazil Times that once the plan is completed, town board members would be able to utilize the plan created during these early stages for future improvements and use it to begin looking into construction grant dollars in order to complete the suggested plan.