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Hiram awarded funds to study downtown, trail connections
by Staff reports
January 22, 2014 05:53 PM | 1328 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Hiram was one of 11 applicants to receive Atlanta Regional Commission Livable Centers Initiative grants last week.

The city received $60,000 and must provide a local match of $15,000.

The grant will fund a study focusing on downtown Hiram and a portion of the Silver Comet Trail, exploring appropriate mixed-use and infill development, and connections to the Silver Comet Trail and to the major retail corridor along U.S. 278.

Initiative grants are designed to help communities create new plans for quality growth and help develop innovative policies that support more vibrant, connected communities.

Once the studies and plans are complete, the awarded communities will be eligible for additional Initiative funding for transportation projects needed to implement the plans.

City Manager Robbie Rokovitz said, “Our city council recognizes that Georgia downtowns play a monumental role in establishing and maintaining a sense of place, especially when properly planned with an engaged citizenry. We share ARC's validation on the importance of downtowns and will enthusiastically proceed with the creation of a plan that will culminate in enhanced development and connectivity.”

Since its inception in 1999, the Initiative has assisted 113 communities with approximately $15 million in planning grants to devise strategies that reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality by better connecting homes, shops and offices. Another $173 million has gone to help recipients build transportation projects that help them accomplish their goals.

The program is funded with federal transportation dollars. The grants fund 80 percent of the study, with the recipient making a 20 percent match. Altogether, there will be a $1 million Livable Centers Initiative investment, $800,000 from the Initiative and $200,000 in local match.

“Over the years, LCI has helped communities across metro Atlanta reinvent and improve themselves, creating more places that attract residents and businesses alike,” said commission Chairman Kerry Armstrong. “Our local government partners have used these grants to the benefit of their individual communities and the entire region.”

Commission Executive Director Doug Hooker said, “Communities are eager to revitalize their town centers and underutilized properties to create places that foster a vibrant neighborhood feel and environment. LCI grants have helped communities re-imagine what they can be and make those plans a reality.”

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