By Bobby Bordelon\r\n\r\nA light meeting of the Alderson Town Council on Thursday, Dec. 10, saw a hopeful public hearing for a multimillion dollar grant application and minor updates for both the future of the Community Center and Bridge Trust.\r\n\r\nA public hearing was held, allowing the town to apply for an approximately $2 million Community Development Block grant to fund the upcoming $6 million water infrastructure project in the works.\r\n\r\nLeslie Taylor and Jamie Baker with Region 4 Planning and Development Council were available for questions, but the only two community members who spoke up only spoke in favor of the project. Taylor explained the original, and current, outlook of the project.\r\n\r\n\u201cIn January 2020, this project came before the Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council (IJDC) and established a funding recommendation of an 875,000 IJDC District 3 grant, 125,000 Infrastructure Council Soft Cost grant, and a IJDC District 3 loan with a 1 percent interest rate for 40 years on $5,637,000, for a total project cost of $6,637,000,\u201d Taylor explained.\r\n\r\nIf this grant application is successful, it would drastically reduce the amount of the loan.\r\n\r\n\u201cWith this funding revision, with the request to seek a $2 million community development block grant, our funding has now changed to $1 million IJDC grant, a $2 million community development block grant, and then an IJDC District loan of $3,637,000 [with the same interest rate],\u201d Taylor said. \u201cThe project cost is unchanged.\u201d\r\n\r\nTaylor complimented the quickness of the city in getting needed data for the application. In September, Todd Riggs, also known as Hoss, went door-to-door in town, surveying 431 water customers in the city, asking for income information, a critical, but often difficult step in the application.\r\n\r\n\u201cYou and your staff did an excellent job of getting the income surveys,\u201d Tayler said. \u201cYou got them very expeditiously and you got them to us, so we were able to calculate your low to moderate income percent, and we appreciate you doing that so quick.\r\n\r\n\u201cThat was Hoss, he took care of getting those surveys door-to-door,\u201d replied Copenhaver. \u201cThe question is, what was our percent once you got that back?\u201d\r\n\r\nAfter finding the number, Baker said it \u201clooks like 61.92 percent \u2026 that are below the low to moderate income.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cWe needed to be [51 percent], so we were 10 percent over where we needed to be,\u201d Copenhaver said jokingly. \u201cThat\u2019s good. It\u2019s good to be poor, it helps us get grants. \u2026 I really believe, because Hoss is the most honest person I could put out to do it, the information is very factual. People were very honest with him, I was impressed with the response to the survey.\u201d\r\n\r\nIf the grant application is successful, Copenhaver noted, \u201cessentially we would cut that in half with grant funding. Roughly.\u201d\r\n\r\nIn other business:\r\n\r\nThe potential future of the Alderson Community Center as the new Alderson Elementary School was not ready for council action, but Copenhaver reported that the engineers have met and there are no red flags for the proceeding. The Greenbrier County Board of Education would like a memorandum of understanding from the town so they prepare for the project, but the draft was not yet complete.\r\n\r\nPotential action on the Alderson Bridge Trust was tabled after Copenhaver and City Attorney Grady Ford were unable to meet.