The Idaho Department of Commerce has picked 18 communities across the state to receive a share of $9.1 million in community development grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The winning cities and counties will get between $51,000 and $500,000 for infrastructure projects including downtown revitalization and repairs to senior centers.
Twin Falls County and two of its cities, Twin Falls and Buhl, will receive more than $1.3 million in federal grants. Emmett, in southwest Idaho, will receive $1 million in federal grants, with half the money going to downtown revitalization and the other half to public facilities projects. American Falls, Bliss, Grace, Kamiah, Newdale, St. Anthony, Dubois, and Greenleaf will also receive $500,000 in grant money from HUD.
Other cities and counties will see smaller amounts for development projects. Donnelly will received $436,000 for downtown revitalization. Blaine County, Franklin County, Gem County, Madison County, and the cities of Moscow and Hagerman will receive grants for senior center projects. Canyon County, Butte County, Clearwater County, Idaho County, Madison County, Shoshone County, and the city of Wallace will get funding for public facilities projects.
Gov. Butch Otter said in a commerce department news release that the grants would lead to new jobs and economic growth. “Supporting basic infrastructure provides a key building block for local folks to work their economic magic,” Otter said. “These grants build the foundation for additional growth in our communities by creating opportunities for their entrepreneurial spirit to shine.”
Idaho communities bid competitively for the grant money. Idaho received its share of the HUD funds through a standard distribution formula among states, according to Dennis Porter, the community development manager for the Idaho Department of Commerce. He said the chosen communities generally have settled the details of their projects. “The projects that get funded are ones that have pretty established ideas and plans of what they’re going to do,” he said. “They’re not speculating or in the planning process … They’re pretty much set in what direction they’re going.”
STAY CONNECTED with the latest news, research and opinions from the Gem State.