Front Royal, Edinburg miss out on revitalization money

Front Royal and Edinburg have missed out on federal money officials in both localities had sought for downtown revitalization.

Virginia awarded almost $9 million in Community Development Block Grant funding for 15 projects around the state. Neither Front Royal nor Edinburg made the list in this round of funding, said Barbara Dodd, public relations director for the Department of Housing and Community Development.

Felicia Hart, Front Royal’s director of community development and tourism, stated in an email Monday that staff would meet as soon as possible to discuss the next steps they might take regarding the results of the grant application process. Steps would include letting the community know about the results and possibly seeking feedback about priorities.

The state doesn’t automatically inform applicants as to why they did not receive funding, Hart said, adding the governor has the final say as to which projects receive awards.

Awards went to projects aimed at addressing health care, water and sewer service, downtown revitalization, public safety and housing rehabilitation. Front Royal officials, business leaders and residents worked on a downtown revitalization project in the hopes the town would receive grant funding through the federal program administered by the state.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced the grant winners at an event held last week at the Southwest Virginian Cultural Heritage Center with leaders from seven localities in that region.

The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development has administered the federally funded program since 1982. Virginia receives approximately $17 million for the program each year and the state awards grants through a competitive process. Most projects benefit low- and moderate-income residents or communities.

The state department received 32 proposals for more than $25 million in requests for this year’s competitive cycle. The state awarded grants to 15 projects, four of which span multiple years and would receive more money if the work achieves specific performance targets.

The state awarded projects in the counties of Amherst, Brunswick, Buchanan, Lee, Rockbridge, Sussex, Washington, Wise and York; the towns of Dillwyn, Pulaski, Warsaw; and the cities of Galax and Norton.