Tifton city leaders apply for $750K block grant

Empty Tifton lot could have a new purpose

TIFTON, GA (WALB) - An undeveloped area in South Tifton could soon see new life.

City leaders have applied for a community development block grant to revitalize an area in front of Matt Wilson Elementary School.

There’s about an acre of unused property owned by the Tift County Board of Education in the southern-most part of the city.

Tifton development and city council leaders want to take this area and transform it into a youth center. The Board of Education expressed concern about the surrounding properties. So they asked the city for help in revitalizing the area.

Bruce Green, Interim Downtown Development Director, Tifton (Source: WALB)
Bruce Green, Interim Downtown Development Director, Tifton (Source: WALB)

City leaders have applied for a $750,000 CDBG.

Interim Downtown Development Director Bruce Green says it’s an exciting time to help this part of the city.

“The concept is a facility where the children in the area, in the entire neighborhood can be a part of it and experience after school programs and activity programs, that certainly occupy their time, and give them the opportunity to do things in a safe, healthy, supporting environment,” explained Green.

Julie Smith, Mayor of Tifton (Source: WALB)
Julie Smith, Mayor of Tifton (Source: WALB)

The next step is creating an urban redevelopment agency to help with this project.

“We’ll be partnering with our YMCA to build a youth development center, where we can have after school programs,” said Tifton Mayor, Julie Smith, “We can have programs for youth in the summer. And we’re real excited about that. That I think will be the catalyst to really jump start things to move forward in a very positive way in an area that’s been ignored for a long time.”

0.88 acres of property where youth center would be built (Source: WALB)
0.88 acres of property where youth center would be built (Source: WALB)

Leaders hope to hear if they’ve been awarded the grant within the upcoming months.

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