Originally created 05/18/99

City gets ready to use grant



HARLEM -- Harlem City Council designated several officials Monday night to begin work that will allow the city to process funds from a $500,000 federal grant.

The Community Development Block Grant, received May 11 in Columbus, will allow the city to put a sewer line along Lamkin Road, officials said. The city applied for the grant in 1998.

Mayor Shirley Tankersley said she was pleased to receive the grant finally after submitting applications the past five years.

"I'm tickled to death," Ms. Tankersley said. "The people out there desperately needed sewerage ... ."

Ms. Tankersley and other officials had to attend a daylong seminar on how to handle a federal grant properly before they were able to receive the funds, she said.

Council members voted to establish a checking account for the money, began the execution of the grant documents and approved the engineering contracts for the project during the meeting.

Ms. Tankersley said federal stipulations surrounding the grant were extensive, requiring that $5,000 of the funds be in the checking account at any time.

"The money is nice to have," she said. "But you've got to know what you're doing in order to get it."

The city also received a $10,000 grant from the state Monday to start work on its Oliver Hardy Museum project, the mayor said.

The new museum, honoring entertainer Hardy, a Harlem native, will be set in the city's old post office location.

The site has been purchased by the city, Ms. Tankersley said.

Benjamin Carr can be reached at (706) 863-6165, Ext. 109, or at benjamin.carr@groupz.net.