‘We are a small town, but we have big dreams’

Holly Pond mayor reacts to senior center grant

Holly Pond Mayor Carla Hart (Tribune file photo/Heather Mann)

HOLLY POND, Ala. –  The Town of Holly Pond this week was awarded a Community Development Block Grants (CDGB) in the amount of $250,000 to construct a new senior citizen center.

Holly Pond Mayor Carla Hart said that hearing the Town received the grant was “breathtaking.”

“The Town was awarded $250,000 for this project and we plan to spend it wisely to construct a building that our seniors and the community as well deserves,” she said. “I feel our seniors played a great part in making Holly Pond what it is today, and this project is just one way of many to show our gratitude for all they have done for our town in the past.”

The Cullman County Economic Development (CCED) office submitted the grant request for Holly Pond, and Hart said she and the current and former Town administrations are grateful for the assistance.

“First, we would like to extend a very heartfelt ‘thank you’ to Gov. Kay Ivey for awarding these grants from my council members Paul Brown, Gladys Wisener, Ricky Carr, Charles Holcomb, Julie Ray and myself,” she said. “Also, I would like to thank the wonderful staff at the Cullman County Economic Development office that is always on standby to see these grant projects are submitted properly and continuously stays in contact with us. Thanks to the previous administration under the leadership of Mayor Bill Oliver that I, Paul, Gladys, Lou Thomas and Michelle Bell served under the past four years for all the hours of hard work initiating the grant paperwork and the design of the building.”

Hart said the grant is 80/20, meaning the Town of Holly Pond will be responsible for 20% of the funding for the project.

“There will be a little more paperwork to finalize the grant acceptance that is required and then hopefully we will be on our way. We will review what we have now on the design and make any necessary changes that the council and I are satisfied with,” she said. “The plan is for the building to be located on Lions Park Road directly across from the Holly Pond Library/Museum on the land that the Town purchased a few months back. To my understanding, we will have up to three years to complete this project. There will be a lot of hours spent getting this together, and we are going to work diligently to see that this project is completed as soon as everything falls in place to get it started.”

Hart continued, “As I have said before, ‘We are a small town, but we have big dreams.’ As long as we have or can find the resources, we will keep on improving to make our town a better and safer place for our residents and to make a brighter future for our children.”

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) is administering the grant from funds made available by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“Many local governments, particularly this year with the COVID-19 pandemic, often struggle for funds to provide basic services for residents,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “ADECA is pleased to join Gov. Ivey in awarding these funds from the CDBG program, which enables governments to accomplish worthwhile projects to make their communities better places to live.”

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Wendy Sack