U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey presented a $625,000 check to the City of Cedartown Monday.
The money comes from federal stimulus funds and will fund the second phase of Cedartown's Streetscape project, with new sidewalks, landscaping and other improvements to the downtown area.
"This is a very exciting day for Cedartown," Cedartown City Commission Chairman Larry Odom said after the check presentation ceremony, held at 12:30 p.m. at Cedartown City Hall. "People should soon see significant improvements in downtown Cedartown ... both aesthetically and business growth as well."
The City of Cedartown has been working for funding of a Streetscape project for several years. The project was to be funded through the Georgia Department of Transportation, but funding fell short for those grants.
In 2008, Commissioner Scott Tillery took the reins and guided the project toward Gingrey's office. By that point the city already had full architectural plans and budget estimates in hand.
Believing that the project qualified for federal stimulus funds as a "shovel-ready" project, Gingrey presented the proposal at the federal level, his spokesperson, Linda Liles, explained.
The funding received Monday will be added to similar funding approved earlier this year. Phase I of the Streetscape project will take in about half of the downtown area, beginning around the Moore's soda fountain. The second phase will take in the other half, which will include the downtown Depot building.
A diagram showing the full scope of the project is on display at the Depot.
"These federal dollars will allow us to work both phases together and complete Streetscape by mid-2010," Tillery said. "This will be a big boost for the historic downtown area and for the whole city.
"Nobody wanted to complete two blocks in the middle of the historic area and leave the rest in poor condition," Tillery explained.
Tillery praised the efforts of Gingrey and his staff in pushing Cedartown's request through the federal bureaucracy.
"Rep. Gingrey is our point man when we need action from the federal government," Tillery said. "His staff is always interested and involved in local concerns, and the Congressman will use his influence to make a case for his constituents."