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Pembroke gets $500k grant
Community development funds will pay for water/sewer upgrades
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The city of Pembroke will soon move forward with some water and sewer after being awarded nearly $500,000 through a federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).
City Engineer Matthew Barrow told the City Council during its regular meeting Monday in City Hall that the city’s 2012 application for the CDBG grant, administered by the state Department of Community Affairs, had been approved.
“As many of you may have heard, the 2012 CDBG application has just now been approved as we were preparing to resubmit for 2013,” Barrow said. “In fact, finalized application documents were going in the mail the day we found out that the 2012 grant had been awarded.”
The city last year applied for the grant but was six-thousandths of a point shy of receiving the grant, according to City Clerk Betty Hill.
“During the grant application process, some cities apply for money and they are not quite ready to move forward (with projects),” she said. “The DCA will de-obligate those funds and award it to a city who is ready to proceed.”
Barrow said the DCA is preparing the grant award package, and once the city receives the documents and all paperwork is signed, the project can then be put out for bid.
The $498,102 grant, plus about $55,000 in matching funds from the city, will pay for the replacement of some water and sewer lines in the following areas: Burkhalter Street between Strickland and Poplar streets; Mikell Street to Smith Street; McFadden Drive; Ware Street; Cherry Street; Taylor Street and others.
Hill said the city is excited the grant was awarded.
“We’re thrilled — we hope to provide a better quality of water for residents in those target areas,” Hill said Tuesday.
In other business, the council approved amendments to the city’s code of ordinances regarding animals.
“This is an ordinance for cleanliness in our city by asking people to remove any animal excrement as they are walking their pets in town,” Mayor Mary Warnell said during the meeting.
Hill said the city had received some complaints about animal excrements in the city parks, and because Pembroke didn’t have anything specifically regarding this matter, the council felt it necessary to make the change.
“We’ve been talking about it for years, and given the flag ceremonies, Easter egg hunts and things like that, it’s not very friendly to visitors to be downtown and see that,” Hill said Tuesday, noting violation of the ordinance would result in fines.
The ordinance states any person that has a dog in public shall be responsible for the removal of dog excrement with a bag, cup, towel or other similar device that can contain and remove the excrement.
Also during the meeting:
* Charlotte Bacon was appointed as the chairperson of the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission.
* The council held a first reading of amendments to the city’s code regarding general government, finances and taxation and occupation, profession and business taxes. The council is expected to approve the changes at the April 8 meeting.
* The council approved a set of amendments to the city’s personnel policy regarding dress code, social media and criminal background and driver’s history checks.
* Downtown Development Executive Director Authority Sharroll Fanslau told the council the city is accepting submissions for an art exhibit in honor of Georgia Cities Week April 20-27. For more information call 653-4413.

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