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The Village of Gilbert is a step closer to potential funding to improve its sewer system.

Louisiana Community Development Block Grant (LCDBG) representatives invited Gilbert on Aug. 30 to submit a full application to the fiscal year 2020 public facilities program.

Gilbert is now one of 60 applicants which includes Columbia in the second stage of applying for part of $20 million allocated by the Office of Community Development.

Funding will be announced in April.

If Gilbert receives funding, officials will use proceeds to repair sewer lines on Third and Fourth streets, install an additional lift station, refurbish current lift stations and repair manholes, said Gilbert Mayor Mike Stephens.

Estimated project cost is some $2 million and may be broken into three or four phases, Stephens said.

Additionally, Gilbert has sought possible funding from United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans.

“The Louisiana Community Development Block Grant Program allows us to address some of the basic necessities of our people by providing funds for sewer rehabilitation projects, water and street improvements, economic development projects and other priorities,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a statement about the program.

The LCDBG Program is a federally-funded Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program that is administered through the Office of Community Development.  It includes assistance for public facilities through grants that are used to provide and sustain suitable living environments by helping communities with funds for potable water, sewer, streets, and community center projects, according to its website. The program includes LaSTEP grants which assist communities with funds for solving water and sewer problems through the use of self-help techniques.

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