USDA Awards $99,256 Grant To Smithfield

Representatives with the US Department of Agricultural Rural Development answer questions from members of Smithfield Town Council about a $99,256 matching fund grant awarded to the Town this month to help pay for new signs. Photo

The US Department of Agriculture Rural Development has awarded the Town of Smithfield $99,256 for the Wayfinding Project.  The award is part of a matching fund grant that will require the Town to contribute $104,375 towards the $203,631 project.

The Town of Smithfield will use the funds to purchase and install wayfinding signage to attract more people to the Downtown area.  The project will support the development of small and emerging private business enterprises.

Town Manager Michael Scott said staff is working to secure locations for the gateway signs on both side of Highway 301 and Highway 70.   The town and Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation (DSDC) submitted a grant for the same purpose in 2017 but the grant was not awarded.  Scott said DSDC Executive Director Sarah Edwards did additional work to improve the 2018 request and the funds were awarded this year.

“We are very close to going to construction on these signs,” Scott told WTSB. “The additional funds from USDA will allow us to stretch our dollars twice as far and start planning additional road side signage that will better direct visitors to key points in our community, as well as reduce sign clutter throughout the town, especially at busy intersections.”

“This is a great step in the right direction to beautifying our community’s gateways and improving  the ease of traffic movement throughout our community,” Town Manager Scott stated.

The grant requires all funds for the project to be spent within 12 months.