The city of Covington recently learned that it was not a recipient of a Georgia Department of Community Affairs grant that would have provided technical assistance to the city in its efforts to revitalize some of its blighted inner-city housing.
Covington Mayor Kim Carter said she was told by the DCA that the city was just "on the cusp" of winning the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing grant, which would have provided three years of free professional guidance in urban revitalization efforts from experts with the DCA, UGA and the Georgia Municipal Association.
"They encouraged us to apply again next year, which we will do. We’re disappointed that we didn’t get that but we’re going to push on," Carter said, adding that in the mean time, the city will continue to work with DCA Community Development Coordinator Martha Reimann on researching available state programs and tools that encourage the redevelopment of blighted areas.
Carter said she believed the city did not receive the grant this year because it did not have quite the level of urban revitalization experience the DCA was looking for in GICH grant recipients. This was the first year the city applied for the grant. Carter said she feels very strongly that the city will win it when it applies for a second time in 2009.
"I was encouraged that the DCA said ‘we’re still going to help you and push resources your way,’" Carter said. "This is hugely important for us and the community. We just can’t lose momentum now. We’ve got it rolling and we’re going to keep it rolling."