The Georgia Department of Transportation announced that the City of Monroe is one of the 17 cities included in an award of $821,163 in the 2020 Roadside Enhancement and Beautification Council (REBC) Grants (formerly known as the GATEway Grant program). Monroe’s share of the proceeds is $31,465 for enhancements along Charlotte Rowell Blvd. The recipients included one county, another 16 cities and four community improvement districts.
“The REBC Grant Program is a great opportunity for local organizations and governments to show pride in their communities by beautifying the right-of-way along state routes,” Georgia DOT Landscape Architect Manager Felicity Davis said in a press release announcing the awards. “We are excited to partner with these 22 organizations to enhance their local communities.”
Charlotte Rowell Blvd is one of the major connectors to the new Monroe Pavilion to be anchored by Publix that is currently under construction by MAB American. The property for Monroe Pavilion lies north of the city center, on the other side of US 78 and between Charlotte Rowell Blvd and State Route 11. The Monroe Pavilion also lies in the opportunity zone created under a federal mandate.
According to the press release from GDOT, “since 2008, the Georgia DOT has awarded 164 grants totaling more than $5 million dollars to governments and community improvement districts around the state. The grant program uses revenue from contributory value fees paid by outdoor advertising companies to the Georgia DOT for vegetation removal in front of outdoor advertising signs. Funds from the grants are allocated towards purchasing and installing plant material along state routes throughout the state. Any local government, community improvement district, or state agency may apply for grants up to a maximum $50,000 for landscape enhancement of the state right-of-way that involves the local community and displays the right-of-way in an attractive manner promoting further pride in Georgia. Awarded grant funds may be used for landscape plant material, sod, topsoil, mulch and labor costs associated with the approved items. GDOT requires a long-term maintenance commitment for any landscape installed under the REBC Grant program. The REBC requires the use of Georgia Grown materials for projects.”