Town wants input on use of grant

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 18, 2000

FERRIDAY, La. – A public hearing will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday at Mount Olive Baptist Church to see how the public would like a $1.2 million technology grant to be spent.

The towns of Vidalia and Ferriday plan to apply for a state grant to be used to fund any program that uses technology to fight poverty. A grant application has to be received by the Louisiana Office of Community Development by Jan. 31.

The meeting will be &uot;a brainstorming session to determine how our community can best … use technology to bring our citizens up to the mark&uot; in a changing world, said Alex Promise, administrative assistant for the Town of Ferriday.

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On Nov. 29, almost 30 parish leaders gathered at Vidalia Town Hall to brainstorm ways that money could be used. But Oliver Schultz, grant consultant for the parish, said town meetings must be held before the proposal is written.

&uot;Sitting here in this room, we know how we think the money should be used – but we want to see what the people out there think,&uot; Schultz said.

According to 1990 Census statistics – the latest available – 30.6 percent of parish residents live at or below the poverty level. Almost 40 percent of parish children live in poverty. To apply, a community must have a population of 2,500 or more. But larger cities such as New Orleans, Shreveport and Alexandria are not eligible.

Mount Olive Baptist Church is located at 500 Sixth St. in Ferriday. For more information, call Promise at (318) 757-3411 or Windell Millicks of the Macon Ridge Economic Development Region at (318) 757-3033.