FLORENCE — More than $200,000 will be divided among 30 area projects.
The Lauderdale County Community Development Committee approved funding for the projects Thursday. The projects include helping buy equipment for a senior center, helping finance flooring at an elementary school library, and helping fund historical markers, training for school resource officers and improvements at the state park golf course.
The funding for the projects totaled more than $205,000.
“We are trying to help education, our senior citizen centers and nonprofits that aren’t able to get a lot of grants,” said Rep. Greg Burdine, D-Florence.
The Lauderdale County Community Development Committee was established by a legislative act three years ago. The committee disperses Tennessee Valley Authority in-lieu-of-tax payments to promote economic development, education and recreation.
“We have assisted our senior citizens, children and veterans. Economic development and tourism projects have also benefited from the grants awarded,” said state Sen. Tammy Irons, D-Florence. “This fund is needed now more than ever because of the shift in priorities by the Republican leadership in Montgomery from helping those most in need to foreign corporate welfare.
“The leadership in Montgomery has cut and cut funding for our schools, our senior citizens, our veterans, those with disabilities and tourism. Therefore, I am glad we had the vision to set up this fund so that we can help assist our local citizens that Montgomery no longer cares about.”
The state statue that governs the Lauderdale Committee instructs Irons, Burdine and Rep. Lynn Greer, R-Rogersville, to select a county elected official to serve as the committee’s fourth member. Florence Mayor Mickey Haddock served in that capacity when he was Lauderdale County license commissioner.
Anne Tease, Kenneth Austin and Ray Eady make up the committee. Since there is a quorum present with three members, the committee can continue meeting until an official is selected to be the fourth member.
Irons and Burdine said the committee does a great job reviewing applications and making sure the grant money is used in accordance with requests for funding.