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DCA: BUILDING COMMUNITIES July/August 2017

MLK, Jr. statue unveiled on Capitol grounds On August 28, Gov. Nathan Deal unveiled a memorial statue of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during a ceremony on the grounds of the State Capitol. The statue – a bronze, 8-foot-tall figure, standing on a 36” pedestal made of Georgia granite – is the culmination of a joint effort to honor the life and legacy of Dr. King. The sculpture stands at the northeast corner of the Capitol and is visible from at least two blocks away, along the boulevard named for the civil rights icon. The project was executed by the Governor’s Office, the Capitol Arts Standards Commission, the Georgia Building Authority, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Advisory Council, which is housed at the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. “Dr. King believed that individuals have a duty to serve others and make a contribution to their communities,” said State Sen. Emanuel Jones, Chairman of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Advisory Council. “Physical memorials ensure his legacy lives on and stand as a lasting reminder of the principles that Dr. King sought to promote.” The historic project began in April 2014 when Gov. Deal signed a bill authorizing placement of a statue honoring King at the State Capitol. In March 2015, Gov. Deal appointed State Rep. Calvin Smyre as chief liaison for fund-raising efforts to create and erect the statue. In June 2016, Atlanta-based sculptor Martin Dawe was announced as the artist for the project. The Martin Luther King Jr. Advisory Council plays a leading role in the effort to celebrate one of the greatest Georgians. Supported by the Georgia Commission for Service and Volunteerism at the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, it is the duty of this council to promote the principles of nonviolence, peace, social justice and awareness of the civil rights movement espoused by the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Behind the Scenes: The Story Behind the Date Do you know the historic significance of August 28th? On this day in 1955, a 14-year-old black boy named Emmett Till was lynched in Mississippi, awakening the country to the horrors of racism. Then, in 1963, more than 250,000 people gathered in Washington, D.C., to listen to a young Southern preacher, who talked poetically about talk about freedom, and a dream. So, this date was selected in 2017 to mark the unveiling of the statue of that African-American hero on the grounds of the state Capitol building in Atlanta, the birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr.


DCA: BUILDING COMMUNITIES July/August 2017

HB73 Update: Rural Zone regulations approved, apply now! The Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) has drafted rules and an application process for the new Rural Zone program. Originating from HB73 during the last legislative session, which was signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal, the program is designed to help address economic distress in some of the state’s most rural downtowns. The Rural Zone program will provide tax credit incentives to promote revitalization and economic growth in long-established business districts through the designation of “Rural Zones.” In August, DCA Board members voted unanimously to approve Rural Zone regulations, an initial step toward implementation of the new program. There are three layers to the program’s tax incentives. Job creation is the foundation – at least two full time equivalent (FTE) jobs must be created in order to claim any of the credits. There is also an investment credit and a rehabilitation credit. The Department of Community Affairs and Department of Economic Development will designate up to 10 zones per year, with the designation lasting for five years. Application materials and general information about the program can be found online. Applications for the first round of designation are due no later than October 31, 2017.

TO APPLY FOR A RURAL ZONE DESIGNATION  Applicants must be municipalities, counties or consolidated governments with a population of 15,000 or less.  Applicants must be in compliance with state requirements regarding comprehensive planning and reporting, Service Delivery Strategy, Government Management Indicators (GOMI) Survey, and the Report of Local Government Finances as of December 1, 2017.  Applicants must have a concentration of historic commercial structures at least 50 years old within the targeted zone.  Applicants must provide proof of economic distress based on poverty rate, vacancy of the downtown area, or blight.  Applicants must have a master plan/strategic plan designed to assist private and public investment, as well as a feasibility study or market analysis identifying business activities that can be supported in the zone.


DCA: BUILDING COMMUNITIES July/August 2017

DCA Board elects new officers The first order of business at DCA’s quarterly Board of Directors meeting last month was the installation of new officers. Frank Turner, of Covington, will be serving for the second time as Chair; Larry Hanson, of Valdosta, as Vice Chair; and Tippi Burch, of Atlanta, as Secretary. We are grateful for the dedication and support of these individuals and thank them for their continued service to the DCA Board. Turner, a member of the Board since 2005, is a partner in the Covington law firm of Greer, Stansfield & Turner, LLP. He has served as chairman of the Covington Redevelopment Authority, the Newton County Land Passing the gavel: Outgoing Board Chair Joyce Trust, the Covington Historic Preservation Commission, Stevens hands over the reins to Frank Turner and the Fowler Street Redevelopment Co., Inc. He sits on the boards of United Bank, the Newton County Industrial Development Authority, A Child’s Voice Child Advocacy Center, Inc., and the Covington Family YMCA. Hanson, who currently serves as city manager for the City of Valdosta, was appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal to the DCA Board At-Large seat for a five-year term in October 2014 and quickly became an asset to the organization. In 2015, Hanson was appointed Chairman of the Housing Committee. He is recipient of the 2003 Loyce W. Turner Outstanding Public Official award from Valdosta State University and the 2004 Carl Vinson Institute of Government/Georgia Trend Magazine Excellence in Public Service award Burch was appointed to the DCA Board in July 2015 and is an attorney with the Atlanta law firm Chalmers Pak Burch & Adams LLC. She is on the board of trustees for the Georgia Legal History Foundation, the executive board of the Atlanta Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society, and is a member of the Leadership Georgia Class of 2014. In 2015, she was selected as a member of the 2015 class of lawyers “On the Rise” by the Fulton County Daily Report.

DCA at Work: Board tours three outstanding North Georgia projects Each year, the annual off-site Board meeting gives the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) an opportunity to highlight successful DCA projects that represent the impact of different agency programs. This year, the Board toured three projects representing different agency programs and very different ways that DCA is able to have an impact on our state. The first stop was Kubota Manufacturing of America Corporation’s manufacturing facility just north of Gainesville. Working in coordination with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, DCA provided $1,750,000 in REBA funds to the Gainesville and Hall County Development Authority to help support the expansion of Kubota’s existing operation. The company is moving their Rough Terrain Vehicle (RTV) production operation to a newly-constructed 500,000sf building in the Gateway Industrial Centre. The existing facility will undergo renovation and expansion. The overall project includes the location of the new facility, as well as the expansion and repurposing of the existing facility, with new jobs and investment occurring at both locations. By 2022, Kubota aims to create 580 new jobs and retain 1,041 jobs.


DCA: BUILDING COMMUNITIES July/August 2017

Next, the Board visited the historic Healan’s Mill, the last stranding grist mill in Hall County. In collaboration with the Appalachian Regional Commission, DCA awarded $300,000 to Hall County to assist with the purchase of approximately 100 acres of land surrounding the mill. ARC’s investment will be matched with $305,000 in local funds – Hall County and a local non-profit, Friends of Healan’s Mill – in addition to funds the county has already invested to stabilize the historic mill. The mill was originally used as a power source to grind crops, manufacture shingles, gin cotton, and turn timber into boards. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The project is part of Georgia’s 2017 ARC Investment Strategy and aligns with ARC’s goal to strengthen Appalachia’s community and economic development potential by leveraging the region’s natural and cultural heritage assets. Before After The final stop on the tour was Myrtle Terraces, a DCA tax credit property. In January 2015, just a half mile from the #1 ranked medical center in Georgia, the Beverly J. Searles Foundation, Inc., opened Myrtle Terraces at New Holland in Gainesville. Myrtle Terraces, a home for individuals aged 55 years or older, is a mixed income development with 84 rental units, 76 of which target seniors earning at or below 50-60% of the Area Median Income (AMI). There are a number of amenities for residents, including a community kitchen, game and exercise room, arts and crafts center, and a barber shop/beauty parlor, but what really stands out is the commitment to foster collaborative relationships with the community. BJS created a partnership with Pacolet-Milliken and the City of Gainesville by building a city park next to the living facility, creating an enjoyable green space for both residents of Myrtle Terraces and the Gainesville community. At the Myrtle Terraces Wellness Lab, residents receive high quality care from Brenau faculty and their students. Students, in turn, can achieve their educational goals as they provide nutrition classes, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and geriatric psychology sessions for residents. Myrtle Terraces would not have been possible without a tax credit award; this investment generated nearly $12 million in private funds to develop the property, and will ensure quality affordable housing for decades to come.


DCA: BUILDING COMMUNITIES July/August 2017

DCA Division Highlight: GCSV announces 2017 service awards The Georgia Commission for Service and Volunteerism (GCSV), which is housed within the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA), has awarded more than $3.2 million this year in federal AmeriCorps funding to local service and non-profit organizations around the state. A broad range of assets is needed to help Georgia’s cities and counties stay healthy, support job growth, and compete in the global economy – and a spirit of service is an invaluable resource. In the coming months, AmeriCorps members will tackle some of the toughest problems facing local communities. Whether it’s tutoring students who may be at risk of failing, helping veterans receive services they need, creating a safe and productive environment for homeless youth, teaching citizens about environmental stewardship, or providing services for the disabled, these grants will enable AmeriCorps members to help meet local needs, while developing the civic and leadership skills that are important to growing communities. The investment for Georgia includes 15 AmeriCorps grants to nonprofits, schools and local governments which will support more than 400 AmeriCorps members. The 2017 competition prioritized investments in education, services for the disabled, and environmental stewardship. Below is a listing of Georgia’s 2017 AmeriCorps grants: City of Roswell Clayton State University AmeriCorps Program CISGA AmeriCorps Reading Tutorial Program (Communities in Schools) Covenant House Georgia AmeriCorps Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites AmeriCorps Program ESP AmeriCorps (Extra Special People) Georgia State University Technology, Engineering, Environment, Math & Science (TEEMS) Hands on Atlanta AmeriCorps Jekyll Island Authority – AmeriCorps Georgia Sea Turtle Center Leap Year AmeriCorps Program AmeriCorps Project RISE University of Georgia 4-H AmeriCorps Project AmeriCorps Project Health Access – United Way of Metro Atlanta Youth Villages AmeriCorps Program Teach for America

$74,146 $143,263 $177,617 $136,482 $207,266 $68,482 $175,909 $378,749 $322,794 $74,175 $313,765 $484,050 $262,921 $312,327 $63,500

Nationally, AmeriCorps engages more than 80,000 members every year to serve through nonprofit, faithbased, and community organizations. These members help communities address issues locally, and recruit millions of volunteers for the organizations they serve. Georgia organizations have begun recruiting for AmeriCorps members to start service this fall. AmeriCorps members typically receive a modest living stipend and a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award upon completion of their service. The award may be used to pay for future education costs or to pay back student loans. Those interested in serving can learn more by visiting www.americorps.gov/join, or by contacting Linda Thompson at Linda.Thompson@dca.ga.gov.


DCA: BUILDING COMMUNITIES July/August 2017

Georgia communities receive $37.5 million in community development awards On August 31, Governor Nathan Deal announced that Georgia communities will receive a total of $37.55 million in federal assistance to help grow their local economies. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded the funding to Georgia’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, which is administered by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA). Fifty-one communities will receive $32.7 million in CDBG funds for infrastructure improvements, neighborhood revitalization and centers to serve citizens in need. An additional $4.8 million in CDBG Employment Incentive Program (EIP) and Redevelopment Fund (RDF) awards will be presented to 10 Georgia communities to invest in restoration and economic development projects that are creating 446 jobs and generating an additional $117 million in private investment. The annual grants are one of the most recognized, competitive and vital programs administered by DCA. The CDBG program’s investments in new and enhanced health care facilities have helped more than 250,000 Georgians gain access to improved health care services, primarily in hard-to-reach areas. To date, the CDBG program has funded critical projects to improve water and sewer services for more than 200,000 people in rural communities across the state. More information about Georgia’s CDBG awards and the annual conference for award recipients is available on the DCA website.

DCA News in Brief “Healthy Families” grant: The state of Georgia has been awarded a $391,000 grant for a "Healthy Families" project piloted by the Department of Community Affairs (DCA). This innovative project aims to embed service strategies that bridge the link between health and housing; and ultimately, the goal is to develop a model that may be used by other states to build and promote healthy communities. Working together with Southface and the Georgia Health Policy Center (GHPC), as well as with local public housing authorities (PHAs), DCA hopes to help improve the ability of PHAs to address residents’ health through better quality housing and improved access to services. The Georgia HFA Healthy Families project will receive $391,962 from The Kresge Foundation to help communities overcome the environmental and social disadvantages that contribute to poor health. The grant period for the project is from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2020. 2017 AmeriCorps awards: The Georgia Commission for Service and Volunteerism (GCSV), a state service commission housed within the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA), has awarded more than $3.2 million in AmeriCorps funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency for volunteering and service programs. Due to strong demand for AmeriCorps resources, this year’s grant cycle was highly competitive. The federal investment for Georgia includes 15 AmeriCorps grants to nonprofits, schools and local governments which will support more than 400 AmeriCorps members. The 2017 competition prioritized investments in education, services for the disabled, and environmental stewardship. To see a full listing of Georgia’s 2017 AmeriCorps grants, please visit the DCA website.


DCA: BUILDING COMMUNITIES July/August 2017

It’s time to apply for CHIP grants! The Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) has posted its grant application for communities to apply for approximately $5 million in new Community HOME Investment Program (CHIP) grants. Each year, DCA awards between $4-6 million in CHIP grants to local governments, nonprofits, and public housing authorities across the state to build new single family homes and help homeowners rehabilitate their homes. Grant amounts range from $306,000 to $612,000. The goal of the program is to expand the supply of, and access to, safe and affordable housing in Georgia’s communities. The application and instructions are available on the DCA website. The application deadline is December 1, 2017. For additional information, please contact Samanta Carvalho, Community Development Specialist, at 404-679-0567 or Samanta.Carvalho@dca.ga.gov.

DCA gearing up to host 2nd annual Fall Conference Each October, city and county officials from across the state gather to go through training to learn how to implement their Community Development Block Grant awards. Last year, Commissioner Camila Knowles decided to capitalize on the fact that all these key stakeholders are gathered in one place and used the opportunity to highlight DCA programs. The first DCA Fall Conference got great reviews – in particular, elected officials and municipal leaders commented on how valuable it was to be able to learn about other DCA opportunities – such as CHIP, GICH, and ARC – and join in roundtable discussions with peers. This year’s Fall Conference will take place October 3-5 at the Savannah Hyatt. In addition to the roundtable forum from last year, DCA’s Community Planning Institute will also be held at this time. The big check presentations will take place at dinner on the first night, and in addition to presenting the CDBG awards, Commissioner Knowles will also present big checks to OneGeorgia and CHIP program recipients. Hope to see you there!

DCA Fall Conference: Register now! Sign up today for the 2017 DCA Fall Conference on October 3-5, 2017, at the Hyatt Regency Savannah. The goal of the conference is to provide opportunities for engaging with DCA across all of our program areas, as well as to deliver necessary training to grant recipients. The agenda for the conference includes: • Grant recipient training for CDBG, CHIP and ARC awards; • Strategy sessions for local elected officials and staff on how to address housing issues; • Community Planning Institute (CPI) courses for AICP certification maintenance credits; and • Main Street 101 sessions. DCA is also excited to announce an Awards Dinner on Wednesday, October 4. This will give us an opportunity to present “big checks” and other awards to communities. Communities will be recognized if, over the past year, they have received CDBG, CHIP, OneGeorgia, ARC, and Emergency Solutions grants, as well as GICH, PlanFirst, WaterFirst, or Main Street GEMS designations. There is a block of rooms reserved at the Hyatt Regency Savannah., and the group room rate is $164. The deadline for reserving rooms is September 15, 2017, so please make your reservations as soon as possible!

DCA Building Communities July/August 2017  
DCA Building Communities July/August 2017  

Building Communities is the semi-monthly newsletter published by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.