Cullman Non-Profits Awarded $180K In CCCDC Grant Money

by | Jan 29, 2018 | Business, Politics

East Elementary Archery 2017 State Champions
Cullman Non-Profits Awarded $180K In CCCDC Grant Money

Big Winners: Cullman High School & County Volunteer Fire Departments

The Cullman County Community Development Commission (CCCDC) held their regular business meeting on Monday night at the Cullman City Hall Auditorium center.

After a few opening remarks, housekeeping duties and approval of the minutes from their last meeting, the Commissioners got down to the core mission of the CCCDC. That core mission is assessing grant application of qualifying parties whose requests fall under the following parameters for purposes of promoting:

★ Economic and Community Development
★ Education
★ Conservation
★ Fire Protection

During the meeting, the following organizations were AWARDED grants in the noted amounts:

Cullman High School – $50,000
Aaron Sparks
Gymnasium Restroom Renovations

Bremen Volunteer Fire Department – $12,000
Donald Stricklin
Firefighter Turnout Gear

West Point Middle School – $12,000
Leah Drauch
Mobile Laboratory

Walter Volunteer Fire Department – $12,000
Randall Henderson
Firefighter Turnout Gear

Good Samaritan Health Clinic – $12,000
Jolanda Hutson
Medical Supply Purchases

First Source For Women – $12,000
Connie Frapppaolo
Mobile Unit Supplies

Simcoe Community Center – $12,000
Fay Whisenant
Structural Renovations

Baileyton Volunteer Fire Department – $11,773.09
Zack McGee
Handheld Radios

United Way of Cullman County – $12,000
Sammie Danford
Fund local agencies

Saving Forgotten Warriors – $12,000
Pam Whitt
Food voucher program

Battleground Fire Department – $12,000
Ryan Woods
Firefighter Turnout Gear

West Point High School – $10,000
Candas Baty
Chromebooks

One grant request was TABLED by the CCCDC Commissioners:

Carpenter’s Cabinet – $12,000
Chris Warnick
Creation of a kitchen; matching funds

Eight grant requests were DENIED by the CCCDC Commissioners:

Oktoberfest Committee – $12,000
Funding Assistance

Hope Horses Inc. – $12,000
Replacement Gate & fencing

Cullman County Parks & Rec – $12,000
Fencing to reduce Vandalism

Cullman County Mental Health – $12,000
Increased treatment capacity

Cullman Caring For Kids – $12,000
Media advertising to increase awareness

Life That Counts – $12,000
Lack of clarity of purpose of request

Vinemont High School – $12,000
New Bell & intercom system

Logan Preservation Foundation – $12,000
Security Fence

As you can see, it was an active night for Commissioners. The lengthy session took over one hour to fully complete.

Commissioners also revealed the CCCDC’s current financial report early in the meeting. It showed a pre-meeting balance of around $230,000 available-to-award-money. By legislative statute, $100,000 reserve funds typically must remain in the account. Thus, $130,980.25 was available to distribute to grant requests.

The above grant requests approved in this session totaled $179,773.09.

Obviously, Commissioners went well below the $100,00 limit leaving at balance around $48,000.

The reason for this was a large $50,000 grant to Cullman High School.

Their hefty $50,000 award was well above the maximum limit of $12,000. This award falls in line with a recent precedent set by the CCCDC where they approved $50,000 in grant amounts at West Point and Hanceville High Schools to refurbishment their running tracks.

Many people who follow the ongoing work of the CCCDC feel like these $50,000, legislative delegation supported grant approvals for running tracks and other sporting improvements are a). Out of the scope of the Commission’s original mandate, b). Nothing more than a feel-good political boondoggle to gain the favor of a broader educational constituency, and c). They limit and extend the availability timeline of funds to non-profits in need who seek smaller amounts.

On the other side, some observers like the gesture of providing extra funding to City and County Schools beyond their multi-million dollar per year budgets for these sorts of often difficult to finance facility upgrades.

It would not be an authentic CCCDC meeting without some controversy.

This time the upset surrounded what Commissioners believe is the Cullman County Commission’s intentional expungement of the CCCDC website link from the County website.

Without a visible link, the Commissioners are concerned potential non-profits seeking to apply for grants will be blocked from participation in the program due to an inability to utilize the online application process.

Commissioners Bradley Williams and Josh Speakman urged any and all potential participants in the CCCDC grant program who were confused, upset or displeased with the missing online presence should:

“… talk to your County Commissioners and get them to put it back up.”

Commissioner Joe Golden is the Acting Chairman of the CCCDC. The other Board members are Jamie Speakman, Bradley Williams, Josh Speakman

What Is Cullman County Community Development Commission (CCCDC)?

The CCCDC is perhaps Cullman County’s best kept public secret.

The Cullman County Community Development Commission (CCCDC) has awarded qualifying cities, towns, and organizations throughout Cullman County almost $4 million from its inception through June 30, 2017.

The CCCDC awards grants to various 501(c)3 entities and qualifying public facilities throughout Cullman County.

The CCCDC grant funds come from 50% of all Alabama State beer tax revenue received by Cullman County AND money generated from 3% of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in-lieu-of-tax payments. Those funds are held in an account maintained and separate from the General Funds account of the Cullman County Commission.

Cullman County Community Development Commission

Cullman Non-Profits Awarded $180K In CCCDC Grant Money

Timothy Collins

Timothy brings an insightful holistic perspective as well as a mountain man tenacity to his various roles at Cullman Today. You can reach him at cullmantoday@gmail.com.

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