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City gets grant back for Theo Ratliff center

DEMOPOLIS – Grant funding for the Theo Ratliff Center has been restored by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.

That means $250,000 is again secure for the construction of the activity center near U.S Jones Elementary School.

“We’ll have to monitor the monitor, but ADECA restored the funding,” said Mark Pettus, the city’s Parks and Recreation Director who will now more closely oversee the construction process.

ADECA pulled the grant after grant writer Lenwood Herrin failed to meet a deadline with public notification of an environmental impact study.

The city was notified of the decision to restore the Community Development Block Grant funding from ADECA Director John D. Harrison.

“We reserve the right to terminate the grant at any time if it appears to us that satisfactory progress is not being made toward timely completion or if the implementation is frought with problems,” Harrison said in his letter dated Sept. 3.

“ADECA decided to restore the funding and we can move ahead with the project,” Pettus said.

If the funding had been pulled, the construction of the building – for which about $475,000 had been raised – could have been postponed, Mayor Austin Caldwell said.