Johnston County Commissioners this month came to the financial aid of two building projects.
Commissioners agreed to give $30,000 to Harbor Inc., whose new shelter for victims of rape and domestic violence flooded during Hurricane Matthew. Also, commissioners agreed to give another $30,000 to an effort to turn an old Selma building into a civic center.
Harbor, which operates the county’s lone shelter for rape and abuse victims, moved into a new building in Smithfield in June. The nonprofit aided 3,200 women and children this past year, and with a new shelter with twice the room, the aim was to expand that work.
But when floodwaters from Hurricane Matthew swamped the $1.6 million SECU Harbor House, residents and staff had to evacuate, and they don’t know when they will be able to return to their safe haven.
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Because FEMA was unable to help Harbor, commissioners agreed to put $30,000 toward the cost of building repairs, which are estimated at $60,000.
“The board of directors and staff members of Harbor are grateful for the continued support shown by the Johnston County Board of Commissioners,” said Kay Johnson, Harbor director. “Their commitment in making strides to eradicate domestic violence and sexual assault in Johnston County is evident.”
The county also agreed to give $30,000 to the Selma Civic Center, a renovation project that will cost about $300,000 in all. Supporters have raised about $75,000 so far.
The tall, one-story brick building on North Webb Street in Selma, just across from the fire station, is more than 80 years old and has been a gym, community center, skating rink and meeting place for American Legion Post 141.
Selma bought the building from the Legionnaires for $60,000. The town has since raised enough money to recoup the purchase price but is short of the money to renovate the building.
Ann Williams, who heads up the Civic Center Steering Committee, told the council that if the committee can raise $100,000, First Citizens Bank will donate $30,000.
Williams said the committee also plans to apply for grants to help pay for the project.