Branch Receives Rural Services Block Grant

Little Rock, AR: Governor Asa Hutchinson, AEDC Executive Director Mike Preston, AEDC Executive Vice President of Operations Amy Fecher and Rural Services Director Alex Johnston presented $696,000.00 to 11 rural communities selected for funding through the Rural Services Block Grant Program for Fiscal Year 2016. The grant awards were distributed February 9th at an awards ceremony held in the Governor’s Reception Room at the Arkansas State Capitol.

In attendance were representatives receiving an Arkansas Rural Services Block Grant award on behalf of Branch in Franklin County. City of Branch recieved $64,000 to construct a new fire station.

The Division of Rural Services works in partnership with the Arkansas Rural Development Commission to select the Rural Services Block Grant recipients.  The grant program is funded through HUD’s Small Cities Community Development Block Grant Program and is administered for the State and the Division of Rural Services through a partnership with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission Grants Division. Incorporated cities and towns and unincorporated communities in rural areas of less than 3,000 in population and that are 51% or above on the low-to-moderate income scale are eligible to apply for assistance through the mayor or county judge’s office.

All Arkansans are invited to attend the 2016 Rural Development Conference in Rogers May 24th-26th. Attendees will learn about additional programs and funding opportunities available to Arkansas’ rural communities. Over 75 state legislators will join over 600 mayors, county judges, other state and federal officials, and community leaders to participate in this annual conference.

For more information about the Rural Development Conference or Rural Services grant programs, please contact the Division of Rural Services at 1-888-RURALAR.

Pictured from Left to Right:  Senator Terry Rice, Jennifer Chunn AEDC, Representative Bill Gossage,  Tracee McKenna, ARDC Commissioner Lonnie Turner,  Governor Asa Hutchinson, Rural Services Director Alex Johnston, ARDC Commissioner Jamie Pafford-Gresham, ARDC Commissioner Frank Lisko, Executive Vice President Amy Fecher, and AEDC Executive Director Mike Preston.