The Texas Department of Rural Affairs (TDRA) presented the city of West Orange with an oversized, ceremonial check to recognize the community for its hard work in securing a grant from the agency’s Texas Community Development Block Grant (TxCDBG) program. Agency staff presented the check on May 18 at the Southeast Texas Regional Review Committee meeting in Beaumont.

“We are very pleased to present this ceremonial check to the community,” said Charles S. (Charlie) Stone, executive director of TDRA. “Community development grants such as this help Texans in rural communities improve their quality of life significantly.”

“We are glad to have the opportunity to compete for grants of this magnitude to assist the citizens of our city,” said West Orange Mayor Roy McDonald.

West Orange will use the $250,000 grant to replace deteriorated sewer service yard lines and install two clean outs for 70 low-to-moderate households throughout the city.

The agency awarded $2,000,000 to eight communities in the Southeast Texas area, including Kountze, Pinehurst, Port Neches, Rose City, Silsbee, Sour Lake, West Orange and Orange County. TDRA awarded more than $88 million to rural communities in Texas for the 2009 funding cycle.
“Texas CDBG is a competitive grant program, so the community is to be commended for their hard work and diligence in pursuing this grant,” said Mark Wyatt, director of TDRA’s community development division.

The grant comes from the Texas Community Development Block Grant program, the largest CDBG program in the nation. Rural cities with populations less than 50,000 and counties that have a non-metropolitan population under 200,000 and are not eligible for direct funding from HUD may apply for the agency’s TxCDBG program. This program serves approximately 1,017 eligible rural communities, 245 rural counties, and provides services to over 375,000 low-to-moderate income beneficiaries each year.