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City to survey project area

By By ANNA M. LEE Assistant Editor
Now that the Brewton City Council has approved a project to apply for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), there are many steps to take before the April 30 application deadline.
The city council approved the project to upgrade or relocate a sewage pumping station on Martin Luther King Drive at its Feb. 10 meeting.
One of the first steps in preparing an application is to survey residents of the area to verify that they are low to moderate income households.
The city will use a standard survey format and particular questions required by the grantors. Watts is organizing the survey, along with other information needed for the grant application.
Watts expects to start surveying people who live near the pumping station at the end of February.
Besides gathering information about household income, the survey will focus on demographics of the household -- number of people, age, sex and race -- and on problems residents have had with the sewer system.
The door-to-door survey will probably be conducted by someone hired by the city, Watts said, and should take a few weeks to complete.
The city is required to survey 80 percent of households in the project area, for a total of 60 to 80 households.
If the city is approved for the grant, Watts will continue to work with Brewton by managing the grant and making sure all federal and state laws are adhered to.
Watts, based in Prattville, has been working with Brewton on grant applications since 1987.
Another part of the initial application process is to do a cost assessment to determine what amount will be requested for the grant.
The city is also getting input from several agencies, such as the Department of Public Health, as it prepares the grant application.
If the application is approved, the city will be notified in early August.