Laurel Street gets state grant for housing, utility improvements

Published 9:46 pm Tuesday, June 14, 2022

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Virginia’s Department of Housing and Community Development has awarded the city of Franklin a $1.3 million Community Development Block Grant, intended to revitalize the Laurel Street area.

Franklin’s City Council voted unanimously on June 13 to appropriate the state funding into its 2021-22 budget.

According to City Manager Amanda Jarratt, the money will go toward rehabilitating 15 Laurel Street homes, as well as improving the street’s utilities and stormwater infrastructure.

Five are owner-occupied and the other 10 are investor-owned. The sewer system improvements, according to city records, will benefit a total of 47 households, 29 of which are low to moderate income.

The first phase of the project is projected to cost $1.7 million, with $283,800 coming from the city, another $37,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and $66,700 from investor/owner contributions.

A second phase, Jarratt said, would move toward the Oak Street area.

The city previously undertook a similar project to revitalize the Madison Street area. The Madison Street project, according to past reporting by The Tidewater News, received $1.2 million in CDBG funding over two years, starting in 2015.