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Sunday, Apr. 20, 2014

Brazil Main Street considers grants

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Members of Brazil Main Street discussed grants at its monthly meeting Monday night.

On hand to inform the members of possible grants was Kristy Jerrell, economic development planner for West Central Indiana Economic Development District, Inc.

Member Stacey Gibbens introduced Jerrell and gave some insight to what she would do for Brazil Main Street.

"She is a grant administrator who works with OCRA (Office of Community and Rural Affairs) Grants," Gibbens said. "That is the agency of the State that has streetscape grants available, that would include anything that we want to do along the street, (such as) trash cans (and) lighting, and then also the fašades grant, which has to do with fixing up the buildings and making them look nice."

Jerrell then went into a little more detail about how her company handles grants.

"We (West Central Indiana Economic Development Grant) are a regional planning commission that was developed by the state of Indiana," Jerrell said. "We cover six counties, and the commissioners of your county actually pay our agency an annual fee based on your population, for grant writers such as myself to be able to help communities, such as Brazil, in obtaining and seeking out different resources and grants.

"So unlike private consultants that you might have worked with before through the city, we actually charge a lower fee, (and) we do not charge you anything to write the grant application or submit the application, and we're only paid if you receive the grant. So we work really hard to make sure that we get the grant perfect so it can go in and get funded."

Jerrell said her company charges five percent of the grant received and will submit grants as many times as her clients want.

Jerrell then informed those in attendance about where the grants come from.

"I gave you a handout to give you some information about the main grant program that's available that would probably be the best source to tap into," Jerrell said.

"This is actually an Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (IOCRA) (grant program).

"They actually have federal dollars that come from Housing and Urban Development (HUD) ... which the state manages as grants."

Jerrell said the two types of grants available from OCRA are CFF (Community Focus Fund) Planning Grants and CFF Construction Grants.

"With planning grants you have to have preliminary engineering done up front before you do any type of construction," Jerrell said.

Jerrell said OCRA expects those who receive planning grants to apply for construction grants within 14 months.

"They also do CFF (Community Focus Fund) construction grants," Jerrell said. "A Downtown Revitalization/Fašade Improvements Planning grant is available for up to $50,000, and the minimum requirement for local match is at least 10 percent."

For now, the members of Brazil Main Street will mull over their grant options and make a decision of what way to go in the future.

Brazil Main Street meets the second Monday of each month at 6 p.m., at the Brazil Public Library.



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