Normandy received $239,543 from a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) earlier this week. The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) announced the grant will fund a …
Normandy received $239,543 from a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) earlier this week. The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) announced the grant will fund a downtown street improvement project in Normandy.
“I was elated,” Normandy mayor Charles Whitaker said. “Because it was a competitive grant and there was no guarantee whatsoever that we would get it.”
The funds for these grants were allocated under a procedure authorized by the Tennessee General Assembly and are based on priorities set through the public meeting process at the local community level.
Whitaker said they were advised to be “proactive” about applying for the grant to convince the state of the dire needs of the town.
“And surely we have the need,” he said. “Normandy is so small and so little population within the city itself.”
According to the Census Reporter, Normandy had a population of almost 160 people as of 2020. This is also coupled with the fact the majority of Normandy’s residents are not in the higher income bracket. Per capita income is around $27,050, while the median household income is $53,214. This makes 28.5% of the population below poverty line.
“We don’t have the fuel taxes and the funds coming in that every town gets because of our size. The size of those incomes is quite small, and we would never accumulate enough money to do our street repairs,” Whitaker said.
They plan to repave all roads in the city limits— which many traveling on roads like Cascade Hollow will find to be a relief. Whitaker said it will be several months before they can award a contract and begin the process of repaving the roads.
“It was a competitive grant and after the governor signs off on it, then we’re able to start doing our environmental assessments and other paperwork we need to fill out,” he said. “There was a lot of hard work done to get to this point and we’re not there yet, but we’re going to get there.”
The CDBG program is funded through the Department of Housing and Urban Development and administered in Tennessee by the Department of Economic and Community Development. Funds are available for water and sewer improvements, housing rehabilitation, health and safety projects and other improvements to enhance the quality of life in Tennessee’s rural communities.
State Sen. Shane Reeves commented in a recent press release about Normandy’s grant, saying, “I’m thrilled Normandy is receiving this grant that will make downtown Normandy safer and more accessible to pedestrians.” He continued, “Local officials did a fantastic job in securing this sizeable grant, and I look forward to the improvements made possible with this funding.”