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story.lead_photo.caption Officials from the city of Strong received a grant from AEDC officials and Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

Governor Asa Hutchinson presented grants totaling $586,633.14 to 49 cities and counties throughout Arkansas at a ceremony held May 16 at the annual Arkansas Rural Development Conference, held at the Hot Springs Convention Center.

At the ceremony, Strong received a Rural Community Grant in the amount of $14,303.46 to purchase gym equipment for their new community center, and Felsenthal received a Rural Community Grant in the amount of $1,050 to improve their emergency warning system by installing a remote control phone activation mechanism to the warning siren.

Rural Services grants fall into one of three programs: the Rural Community Grant Program, the County Fair Building Grant Program, and the Arkansas Unpaved Roads Grant Program. All require a 50 percent matching grant to be eligible for the programs.

A total of $325,459.58 was awarded to 32 cities and counties under the Rural Community Grant Program. Applicants from incorporated towns of less than 3,000 in population and unincorporated rural areas are eligible for up to $15,000 in matching funds under the program for community development and fire protection projects.

A total of $45,804.56 was awarded to 13 counties under the County Fair Building Grant Program. Under the program, county fairs located in counties with a population of less than 55,000 are eligible for up to $4,000 per fiscal year for construction, renovation or general improvements of buildings or purchase of items shown to directly improve the building or the services that the county fair association may provide.

Four counties received a total of $215,369.00 under the Arkansas Unpaved Roads Grant Program to improve roads with a reduced negative environmental impact on priority water resources. The program focuses on best management practices that reduce the impact of sediment and road runoff to streams, rivers, and drinking water supplies while reducing long term unpaved county road maintenance costs.

For information on AEDC, visit www.ArkansasEDC.com.

Officials from the city of Felsenthal received a grant from AEDC officials and Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
Officials from the city of Felsenthal received a grant from AEDC officials and Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

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