McCrory to give more than $730,000 in grants to 14 rural center programs

From Staff ReportsAugust 5, 2013 

MCCRORY03-NE-072613-CCS

Gov. Pat McCrory speaks during a press conference held at the Governor's Mansion in Raleigh, NC on July 26, 2013.

CHRIS SEWARD — cseward@newsobserver.com Buy Photo

Gov. Pat McCrory’s office announced Sunday that 14 programs formerly funded by the state Rural Economic Center will get grants totaling more than $730,000 from the state Commerce Department.

McCrory asked the Office of State Budget and Management to freeze grants of rural center funds after a state audit found that the center had failed to follow the law and regulations in award grants.

Valeria Lee, chairwoman, and Billy Ray Hall, director of the center, resigned in July.

The center, a private nonprofit, has received more than $650 million from the state in 26 years.

“Funds will be released as the Office of State Budget and Management determines the grants are in compliance with state laws and rules, and as they come due,” McCrory said in a statement. “The OSBM is working diligently in its review so that funds can be distributed in a timely manner.”

The grants announced Sunday were the first to programs previously scheduled to receive grants in August.

Grants are being awarded by the state Commerce Department with the help of a five-member Rural Center board committee.

The largest grant, for $500,000, went to Person County.

Other grants went to the town of Plymouth, for $108, 787; the town of Bath, for $42, 861; the town of Franklinton, for $11,090 and Central Carolina Community College, for $11,556.

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