By Tina Alvey
Optimism is running high in Union, as Monroe County officials believe a couple of grant applications recently submitted to the state have a good chance of approval.
County Clerk Donald Evans advised the county commission Wednesday that he has completed and mailed a Courthouse Facilities Improvement Authority grant application that would pay most of the cost of securing and installing a courthouse-wide sprinkler system.
“The total project cost is $130,000, and the maximum amount we can be awarded is $100,000,” Evans told The Register-Herald.
The county is required to provide a 20-percent match and would have to pay the project’s balance. If the grant maximum is received, the county would be on the hook for $30,000.
The sprinkler system would serve all three floors of the circa 1881 courthouse, including the attic, Evans said. The age of the facility makes it vitally important to obtain the system, if at all possible.
“I think we’ve got a pretty good chance of getting the grant,” said Evans, who serves as the county’s grant coordinator. “We’ve been very fortunate in the past.”
Just last year, the courthouse roof was replaced, thanks to an assortment of grants from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Courthouse Facilities and the governor’s office.
Evans also noted that Monroe County Assessor Norbert Netzel has applied for a $28,900 grant from the West Virginia Geological Survey to digitize the county’s maps.
Evans said most of the state’s 55 counties already have digital maps.
“(Netzel) said he expects to hear something on that grant in mid-December,” Evans said.
The grant requires a 7.5 percent local match, either in cash or an in-kind contribution.
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