CRC looks to help

Published 8:56 am Monday, December 28, 2015

The Commonwealth Regional Council is offering to help the Kenbridge Volunteer Fire Department apply for more grant money.

The council, known as the CRC, has sent notifications of the funding opportunity to all fire departments located within the localities that are members of the organization, said Mary Hickman, the council’s executive director.

Based in Farmville, the CRC, was organized on July 1, 2005, and is one of 21 regional planning agencies serving all Virginia regions.

The Commonwealth Regional Council serves the counties of Amelia, Buckingham, Charlotte, Lunenburg and Prince Edward.

The CRC assists local governments in planning new programs and projects, securing grants and loan funding to implement those local efforts, and then in managing them.

“Lunenburg County is a member of the organization — therefore, the county, both towns, and various organizations within these jurisdictions have access to the council for wide a variety of services, including grant writing,” Hickman said.

Kenbridge council noted that CRC helped the town’s fire department secure a nearly $180,000 grant for

new firefighter turn-out gear and air packs. The funding was obtained during the 2013 fiscal year Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program application period. In the next year’s funding competition, the CRC assisted the fire department in receiving a second grant for $14,500 for a washer and dryer extractor to help clean and protect the new firefighter’s gear.

These were highly competitive national grants, Hickman said.

The new round of grants has a Jan. 15 deadline, she said. Presently, the CRC has not received word from the Kenbridge fire department about applying for additional funds, Hickman said.

Meanwhile, town officials praised the agency and its assistance.

“I believe without the CRC’s help, I don’t think the fire department would be able to do it,” Mayor Emory Hodges, a volunteer firefighter, said. “It’s a grant (oriented) society.”