City spends weekend talking possible grant for MLK corridor revitalization efforts

SAVANNAH, Ga (WSAV) – Savannah city leaders spent the weekend along the MLK corridor sharing with neighbors the latest plans in the revitalization project for the area.

Little things like some paint around the pavilion or a small library house will be the new things neighbors see around Wells park. The city is moving forward to seek funding for correcting blight around the area and they’re looking to the Environmental Protection Agency to do just that.

“Here is our boundary within which we are going to start looking for key properties that could be eligible,”says Nick Deffley at the city’s environmental and sustainability services department.

It’s no work of art and making it one has been on the priority list for the city of Savannah and the Savannah development and renewal authority for years.

“What we want to do is go in and find any issues there are with the property and if there are this grant will allow us to get those ready for clean up,” Deffley adds.

Nick Deffley with the city is talking about the EPA allocated “Brownfield grant”. He expects with $300,000 it provides could help them discover what properties are hazards and could be improved. SDRA is already pledging improvements to homes around Wells Park as they spend the day giving the public space a face lift.

“This will be an ongoing effort so we’ll come back and repaint the benches and really anything we can to spruce it up and spark reinvestment in the area,” says SDRA program director Katherine Williams.

Deffely says the grant will help the city look at about a dozen properties public or non profit owned, but they are not ruling out helping private owners make their homes safe for them as well as the neighborhood.

“In the next few weeks we’re identifying individual property owners talking with them, seeing if they’re interested in potentially participating and just having their property assessed.”

The deadline for the city to apply for that grant is the week before Christmas. They do not expect to have a final answer from the EPA on funding until next June.

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