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TARCOG News & Headlines

Read on for recent happenings, announcements, and notable headlines from TARCOG and its communities throughout the region.

DeKalb County’s Powell Park celebrates new playground equipment

TARCOG Economic Development and Planning Director Lee Terry, TARCOG Executive Director Michelle Gilliam-Jordan, State Sen. Steve Livingston, Powell City Council members Reggie Byrum and Gurlon Lands, Speaker of the House Nathaniel Ledbetter, and Alabama’s Mountains, Rivers & Valleys Resource Conservation and Development Councils Executive Director, Renona Seibert

TARCOG helped secure funding

A colorful and interactive new playground is officially ready for action at Powell Park in DeKalb County thanks to $178,192 in grant funds from the combined efforts of TARCOG, town leaders, state legislators, the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Development Agency (ADECA), and the Alabama Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils (RC&D).

On Tuesday, Aug. 22, leaders gathered at the Granny Wigley Pavilion before heading across the street to visit the new playground area. Powell town leaders were also presented a check for $15,000 from RC&D. It was the final funding piece for the playground equipment. TARCOG helped the town apply for and receive a $148,000 Community Development Block Grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Development Agency (ADECA).

The Town of Powell also came up with an extra $15,192 for a new set of swings.

“It’s just not a park without swings,” said Powell Councilman Reggie Byrum. “We usually get compliments on the park every week … It has been a lengthy process and we’re thankful to be at the end of it where we have this beautiful park.”

The new hasn’t worn off but there’s evidence that Powell’s youngest residents have wasted no time putting the new equipment to use in recent months.

“There were lots of moving parts that made it possible and we are thankful for each one of those and our town is forever grateful for that,” Byrum said.

TARCOG Executive Director Michelle Gilliam-Jordan, said the agency was happy to make the grant submission to ADECA on behalf of the Town of Powell.

“We have grant season every year and the better the project the more opportunity to get it funded and this was just the right project,” Gilliam-Jordan said. “Thank you for your partnership. We’re excited every time we get a win it’s a win for North Alabama.”

Speaker of the House Nathaniel Ledbetter said he was glad to see the working relationships that facilitated the playground.

“There’s no question that Powell is proud of their park and it doesn’t look like this just today, it looks like this every day. It’s always clean and neat and certainly a gem for the town.”

Now that the new playground equipment including multiple slides and climbing features, interactive games, monkey bars and swings are fully installed, Byrum said the old playground equipment will be torn down immediately.

State Sen. Steve Livingston said the importance of pooling multiple resources was key to the project’s success.

“The sense of pride in Powell is obvious from the other side of the college to all the way to Rainsville and this park is just part of that,” Livingston said.

Powell Councilman Gurlon Lands also expressed his gratitude.

“Without every one of you, we couldn’t have done it,” Lands said.

Preparing to hand over a check for $15,000, Renona Siebert, executive director of Alabama Mountains, Rivers & Valleys (AMRV) RC&D, said all the partnerships combined make projects like the Powell playground a success.

“This may be the nicest playground I’ve ever seen right here in Powell,” said Drayton Cosby of the Cosby Company. “It just shows it doesn’t matter how big you are or how many people, you’ve got to have the right people so you can get something done.”