The Village of Clemmons learned last Friday that a request to receive $2 million in funding through an Appalachian Regional Commission grant for the Village Point access road project has been denied.
The decision, which was sent to Mayor John Bost in a letter dated Oct. 1 from the N.C. ARC program office, is a setback in the village’s quest to provide a vital road connection critical to the possible development of Village Point.
Bost admitted to his disappointment over being turned down for the grant in a process that started nearly a year ago.
“We were given repeated assurances of our probable success early on by those most familiar with this year’s funding cycle,” he said. “This 100 percent grant opportunity appeared a perfect match for the much-needed Village Point connector.
“Few projects seemed better suited than ours, given the 2,000-plus jobs projected for construction and the release of the pent-up retail and office development, soon to be stimulated by this connector.”
However, Bost said that when the Village Point grant was finally submitted in June, 26 grants totaling 10.6 million in requests had been received.
“The governor’s office was even able to expand the original $3 million available through the Department of Commerce, pooling the ARC funds with additional funds by then totaling $6 million,” he said. “Even though a special audience with our public-private partners was requested and provided for the Office of the Governor, our grant was denied.”
Three members of the Village Council — Nick Nelson, Norman Denny and Mike Rogers — originally had maintained opposition to the ARC grant, voicing concerns over setting precedent and using tax dollars to develop private property for private developers.
However, a second request to consider the grant in the June 10 meeting was met with …