Millions in grants announced
The announcement came via press release from U.S. senatorial and congressional offices including: Senators Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor, and Representatives Marion Berry (AR-01), Vic Snyder (AR-02) and Mike Ross (AR-04).
The announcements were as follows:
$22.3 million for economic/community development
Arkansas will receive $22,346,252 in grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to improve local communities through economic development initiatives, public infrastructure investments, and rehabilitation of buildings and neighborhoods, according to the press release.
The $22.3 million will be split among several entities:
- The Arkansas Economic Development Commission will receive $20,993,576 under HUD’s Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) program.
- Fort Smith will receive $899,621; and
- West Memphis will receive $453,055 under the CDBG program.
The Arkansas Economic Development Commission will distribute funds, based on applications, to cities and counties throughout the state. All awards for economic development must create or retain jobs and at least 51 percent of new jobs must go to persons of low and moderate income. Local officials will apply for investments that help them attract and retain businesses and create jobs, according to the press release.
$17 million for housing assistance
Arkansas will receive $17,302,896 in grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide housing for low-income individuals including the disabled and those living with HIV/AIDS, according to the press release.
- The Arkansas Development Finance Authority will receive $13,983,361 in HOME program grants to expand the supply of affordable housing for low-income individuals and their families.
- Fort Smith will also receive $522,299 under the HOME program. Funds will go to local governments and housing agencies to build new housing or rehabilitate existing housing for low-income Arkansans who earn 80 percent or less of the area’s median income.
- The Arkansas Department of Human Services will receive $1,203,721 in Emergency Shelter Grants, which assist people who are homeless or are about to lose their housing. Funding will be distributed to local communities and non-profit organizations throughout Arkansas.
- The Arkansas Department of Health will receive $531,915 under HUD’s Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS program, which provides housing and rental assistance for individuals diagnosed with HIV/ AIDS.
- Birch Tree Communities Inc., a private non-profit mental health center headquartered in Benton, will receive $1,061,600 under HUD’s Section 811 program to construct a 10-unit apartment complex in Benton, which will offer affordable housing for low-income individuals with disabilities.
Nearly $100K to UAMS for long-distance ed
The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences will receive a $99,995 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) grant to support its long-distance, continuing education program for rural health care professionals who treat pregnant mothers and young children, according to the press release.
HHS funds will be used to expand UAMS’s teleconferencing equipment for long-distance education and purchase software that will allow instructors to record presentations so students can access them online. UAMS’s Antenatal & Neonatal Guidelines, Education and Learning System (ANGELS) program will prepare nurses and doctors for responding to non-routine, high-risk health factors for pregnant mothers, infants and children.
The ANGELS distance education program will enable rural providers to complete continuing education training in their local communities and when it best fits their schedule. UAMS will provide training for rural health care providers in Arkansas and surrounding states in the Delta region.
$18K to Fayetteville company for improving water quality
BlueInGreen, LLC, a Fayetteville company that makes products to improve and maintain water quality, will receive a $174,979 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to develop and implement technology meant to protect aquatic life near the Gulf Coast, according to the press release.
The products work by enhancing oxygen levels in the water that has been affected by the Gulf oil spill. BlueInGreen plans to send engineers to the Gulf in September to assist with recovery efforts.
NSF funds will enable BlueInGreen to adapt technology it created called “supersaturated dissolved oxygen delivery (SDOX) systems, according to the press release, to salt water as to enhance oxygen in oil-polluted waters along the Gulf Coast. BlueInGreen’s SDOX systems are currently designed only for freshwater and used for wastewater treatment and various environmental projects. SDOX units consist of a tank, pump and oxygen source, and they are capable of introducing a high concentration of dissolved oxygen into water.
SDOX systems will be useful in protecting aquatic life in the Gulf because bacteria require oxygen in order to be able to break down oil remnants, which otherwise could not be physically removed from the water. These oil remnants deplete oxygen levels in the water, which can suffocate fish and other organisms. BlueInGreen will use its technology to protect oysters, fish and other wildlife along the Gulf Coast, according to the press release.
$5.3 million for crime victim compensation
Arkansas will receive $5,398,931 in U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) grants to provide compensation and services to crime victims in Arkansas. The money will be split between two agencies, according to the press release.
The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration will receive $4,072,931 under DOJ’s Victim Assistance Formula program to support crime victim services throughout Arkansas. Funds support local programs such as shelters and counseling for victims of domestic violence, court-appointed special advocates and other services for victims of child abuse, as well as services for sexual assault victims, families of murder victims, and other Arkansans affected by crime.
The Office of the Attorney General will receive $1,326,000 under DOJ’s Victim Compensation Formula program to provide financial assistance to victims of crime and their families. Arkansas’s Crime Victims Reparations Program compensates victims up to $10,000 for expenses such as medical treatment, counseling, lost wages and funeral expenses, according to the press release.
$356K to fight underage drinking
The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration will receive a $356,400 U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) grant to support local efforts to enforce underage drinking laws and educate minors about the dangers of alcohol consumption and drunk driving, according to the press release.
The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration will distribute funds to local law enforcement agencies for efforts to enforce laws by ensuring restaurants and liquor stores do not sell alcohol to minors. The funds will support advertising, education and other initiatives to prevent underage drinking. The Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws program also supports initiatives at high schools and college campuses, such as education programs and alcohol-free post-prom parties, according to the press release.
Experienced reporter who is now an entrepreneur. Jamie's Notebook offers writing services including press releases, corporate blogging and feature writing.