The Smithfield Town Council held a public hearing last week to close out a $50,000 grant that benefited East Smithfield.
Smithfield worked with the nonprofit Raleigh Area Development Authority and won the money in 2013, RADA program manager Stanley King said.
“RADA understands that there are a number of issues that need to be addressed,” King said. “We are committed to assisting the Town of Smithfield and its citizens in eliminating those issues that adversely affect them.”
RADA originally sought to win $50,000 through the N.C. Commerce Department’s Talent Capacity Building Grant, King said. However, the state made major changes to how it awards the grant, King said, and it became unlikely that Smithfield would get the money. The organization pivoted at that point and applied for the $50,000 from the Wells Fargo Leading the Way Home grant.
RADA won that money and distributed most of it among five local nonprofits: Johnston-Lee-Harnett Community Action; Serve the Need; Community & Senior Services of Johnston County; Johnston County Youth Services; and the Me Fine Foundation.
With the remainder of the money, King said, RADA has worked with Serve the Need to make minor improvements to homes in East Smithfield. They have also built handicapped ramps where needed. So far, they have identified 19 homes that need help, and they have completed work at eight and started on five more.
The group has also helped 10 residents apply for home-repair grants, King said, and it has have worked with Smithfield Fire Department to install carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.
Councilman Emery Ashley asked King whether RADA had identified any grants that would help encourage Piedmont Natural Gas to run pipes to serve East Smithfield. For grant purposes, only water and sewer lines are considered infrastructure, King said, so funds are hard to find. RADA is working to change the definition, he said.
Tony Nixon, chairman of the East Smithfield Improvement Organization, thanked King and the council for their efforts. “Thank you for your interest in bettering the lives of so many people,” he said.
Here are other items from the May council meeting.
Late mayor honored: The council issued a proclamation in memory Norwood Worley, who died Feb. 4 at age 87. Worley served as a Smithfield councilman from 1970 to 1987 and as mayor from from 1989 to 1995. He was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine in 1995. Mayor John Lampe presented a framed copy of the proclamation to Worley’s family.
Police promotions: Smithfield Police Department recently promoted Keith Powell to captain of support services and Tommy Choe to patrol captain. At last week’s meeting, they recited the oath of office and received their captain’s badges. Choe has served SPD for 27 years and Powell for 21 years.
New officer: Lampe swore in SPD’s newest police officer, Gabriel Galindo. He comes to Smithfield from the Fayetteville Police Department.
Stop signs: The council voted to create a four-way stop at the intersection of Woodall and South Fifth streets. Residents had complained that drivers were speeding on Woodall between Bright Leaf Boulevard and South Third Street.