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franklin county times

Downtown Russellville Collective receives grant to further efforts

The Downtown Russellville Collective received $4,000 in a grant presentation Sept. 11 by Tennessee Valley Authority and Russellville Utilities.

The collective became a designated Main Street Alabama community June 1 and is a nonprofit organization.

“The matching grant will be used for outreach to Russellville’s business and stakeholders,” explained executive director Ann Epperson McDermitt. “It will support the ongoing work to document and encourage reuse of vacant buildings in the downtown district. We appreciate this grant and look forward to sharing our community’s revitalization progress. We are thankful for the financial support to move these projects forward.”

Russellville Electric Board general manager Charles Canida said the REB “appreciates TVA’s efforts in supporting our community’s nonprofit organizations.”

Funds are distributed directly to non-profit agencies on behalf of TVA and the local power company with TVA providing 50 percent and the local power company providing 50 percent of the funding.

Canida explained TVA began administering the Community Care Fund in April 2020 in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, to help meet needs in their communities. Funda can be used to support education, diversity, inclusion, health, hunger, housing, community enrichment, arts and culture, disaster relief, emergency response, innovation and technology.

McDermitt said the Downtown Russellville Collective plans to use the funds for community enrichment to continue stakeholder outreach and focus on identification and repurposing of vacant properties, with efforts toward these goals consisting of outreach to businesses and property owners in the downtown area and including bilingual resources.

“In addition to connecting the community, this outreach will seek to share useful tools and opportunities available for new and existing businesses,” McDermitt said. “We are thankful to have both TVA and the Russellville Electric Board as partners in our Downtown Russellville community. This generous matching grant allows our efforts to move forward.”

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