As our nation, state and county all deal with the uncertainties and ever-changing dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic, FEDCO, in cooperation with the Fulton County officials, the Chamber of Commerce and State officials, is working extremely hard to address the needs of our Fulton County businesses. Through surveys, phone calls,and emails, we understand the severity of the impact to our localcommunity.
We want to assure you that as agents of the county, we are diligently working through mandated processes toward being able to receive, and award, grant relief funds to our local businesses. We would like our community to understand the processes that are in place regarding the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) COVID-19 Immediate Response Grant Funding Program.
We first want to publicly thank Governor Holcomb, Lt. Governor Crouch, and the OCRA team for their quick action in making a funding program available to our business community. On April 17, Fulton County applied for $250,000 in OCRA’s COVID-19 Immediate Response Grant Funds, and they were notified on April 22 that they would be awarded those federal funds.Those funds are from the Federal Community Development Block Grant resources and have many criteria to which the countymust adhere when developing the application processand throughout the receipt and dispersal of those funds. As with any program launched that quickly during a volatile national crisis, many details were still to be dealt with by the State of Indiana before any release of the grant funds could occur.
The Oversight and Planning Committee for the Fulton County grant process includes experienced professionals such as the county commissioners, county council members, FEDCO and Chamber of Commerce Executives and staff, a State Grant administrator, and seasoned project manager along with necessary support personnel.
The above Grant Oversight Team has been developing a business grant application to comply with the state and federal guidelines and mandates. Several working meetings have occurred as new information is released from the state. On Tuesday, May 12, Fulton County officials will join a meeting called by OCRA to discuss, and hopefully, finalize details. The grant agreement should then be ready for signature by the county. Once that is completed, the grant application should then be able to be finalized and released to our county small businesses. We are aiming for May 15. Release date of funds by the state is as yet unknown but is projected to be by June 1.
As noted in an earlier release, a legal notice ran in The Rochester Sentinel announcing details of the public hearing held on May 11, 2020, at 9:30 a.m. Publishing notice 10 days ahead of the Public Hearing is required for a community to receive CDBG funds. A second public hearing will be required when approximately 30% of the funds have been expended.
FEDCO and the Grant Oversight Team thank you for your patience as we diligently continue working with the County, OCRA and other officials to be able to complete this process and be ready to receive and disperse the COVID-19 Grant Funding. To-date, 87 Fulton County businesses have expressed an interest in these funds.For questions, please contact FEDCO at 574-223-3326.