The Golden LEAF Board of Directors has awarded five Disaster Recovery Grant Program grants totaling $2,055.219 to help three Johnston County towns recover from Hurricane Matthew. The State of North Carolina provided funding to the Golden LEAF Foundation to make grants to local government entities and 501c3 nonprofits working to recover from Hurricane Matthew, the western wildfires, Tropical Storm Julia or Tropical Storm Hermine.
Eligible projects include repair or replacement of existing infrastructure; infrastructure to support new housing development, repair or replacement of equipment; and construction, replacement or improvement of public infrastructure to support hazard mitigation.
In Johnston County, the Town of Benson received $422,158 to replace a fire engine that was submerged in water for an extended amount of time and was flooded out during Hurricane Matthew. The Benson Fire Department responded to 62 emergency calls, 32 of which were water rescue calls.
The Town of Benson received a second grant totaling $500,000 to replace the Benson Public Works Building. The force of floodwater from Hurricane Matthew unearthed a 60-inch storm drain pipe adjacent to the Benson Public Works Building, flooding the structure and damaging equipment.
A third grant was awarded to Benson for $565,187 to complete storm water repairs throughout town after Matthew caused significant damage including sinkholes and other issues.
The Town of Princeton will receive $497,874 for repairs to the Beaver Dam ditch. Flooding from Hurricane Matthew in Oct. 2016 eroded the banks of Beaver Dam ditch and damaged aging infrastructure on North Center Street.
$70,000 was awarded to the Town of Smithfield to update a 1985 study on flooding hazard issues that threaten properties.
To date, Golden LEAF has awarded 52 grants totaling nearly $40 million, out of the total $55 million awarded to the foundation to support disaster recovery.