Several fortunate communities in the area will be getting some help in building or repairing storm water infrastructure.

Lt. Governor Becky Skillman made the announcement by conference call Tuesday, that 28 communities would be sharing $24.6 million in federal funds from a Community Development Block Grant awarded to the state. The money is a second round of disaster recovery funds made available after the severe storms around the state in 2008. Locally, the town of LaPaz in Marshall County and the town of Hamlet were awarded grant money administered by the Office of Community and Rural Affairs in a competitive grant process that included applications from 85 communities around the state.

“Storm water infrastructure is critical to our communities,” said Skillman. “It insures the safety of our water supply, battles erosion and protects us and property from flooding. It can take weeks and months for communities to recover from the effects of severe storms as we learned from the severe weather of 2008 when 82 of 92 counties were declared a disaster at some point.”

Priority in the process was given to communities with a significant number of households with low to moderate income, and where the money would have a significant impact on economic recovery efforts in the area.

The communities will use their funding for projects that include new or im-proved pipes, manholes, curbs or drains. Each community was awarded the full amount of their grant request for the project. LaPaz will receive $972,771 and Hamlet will receive $870,000.

“Small towns can have the most trouble keeping their storm water systems up to date,” said Skillman. “These funds will allow them to do that.”

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