June 20, 2018
LITTLE ROCK - The Arkansas Economic Development Commission announced today it has received $65,000 for its Division of Rural Services Unpaved Roads Grant Program. The funding was made possible through the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation with private funds that were contributed by the now dissolved Arkansas Water Foundation.
Pat Fitts, director of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) said: “This is a wonderful example of how public and private partnerships can improve rural roads while benefiting water quality and aquatic species. It’s a win-win for all agencies involved, as well as the counties that will benefit.”
“Currently, there are more requests from counties than there are funds available,” said Alex Johnston, director of AEDC Division of Rural Services. “The generosity from the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation means that we will be able to fund more projects than we have in recent years.”
Established in 2015, the Arkansas Unpaved Roads Grant Program works to reduce the impact of sediment and runoff in streams, rivers and drinking water supplies while reducing county maintenance costs. The program is a joint venture among 14 organizations, including AGFC, Arkansas Natural Resources Commission (ANRC), and AEDC.
“Protecting the water resources Arkansas enjoys benefits the state’s citizens and generations to come,” said ANRC Director Bruce Holland, “and we appreciate the joint effort from our sister state agencies and other stakeholders.”
The Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation will disperse the money over two periods – $30,000 for projects in the remainder of Fiscal Year 2018, and $35,000 for projects in Fiscal Year 2019 to begin July 1, 2018.
All Arkansas counties are eligible to apply for program funding, regardless of size or population. Eligible projects must focus on both unpaved road improvements and sediment reduction. Only projects that provide some form of environmental benefit will be considered. For more information on the Division of Rural Services or an application for the Arkansas Unpaved Roads Grants Program, visit www.ArkansasEDC.com/Rural-Services.