CAWACO RC&D, Shelby County officials announce grants

FROM STAFF REPORTS

COLUMBIANA — State Sen. Cam Ward (R), State Rep. Corley Ellis (R) and State Sen. Jim McClendon (R), along with members of the CAWACO Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) Council, recently announced the completion of five projects at the historic Shelby Iron Works.

Five organizations receiving funds in 2020 include Shelby County Soil and Water, Shelby County Career Tech, Shelby County Historical Society, Shelby Elementary School, and Shelby County Board of Education. The total amount funded by CAWACO RC&D, in partnership with the State of Alabama, to Shelby county area projects is approximately $43,000.

The State of Alabama has funded RC&D for 20 years through state appropriations from the education trust fund and general fund budgets. RC&D is dedicated to protecting, enhancing, and developing the state’s natural and human resources.

Sen. Cam Ward said the one thing that jumps out to him is the partnerships that are in place in Shelby county allows everyone to work together on all levels and it pays off.

“The working relationships across local governments and the private sector have established a family approach that everybody works together in Shelby county and that’s what makes all these projects happen and it pays off for the citizens,” said Ward. “It’s a blessing and I think it helps us excel on grants like these.”

Rep. Corley Ellis, a former CAWACO RC&D Board member, thanked the Shelby county CAWACO board members and all of the organizations that applied for funding this year and was excited to see these projects complete during this difficult year.

“Commissioner Morris and the entire board has been instrumental in helping to find projects and put these organizations in position to apply for these funds we appropriate to CAWACO RC&D,” said Ellis. “I appreciate everyone her5 and what CAWACO does for Shelby county.”

Shelby County Commissioner and CAWACO RC&D Board Treasurer Kevin Morris joined the CAWACO RC&D board last year and stated how much he appreciated the CAWACO staff and the cooperative with all the various entities involved. He further said the passion for the various programs has generated a strong cooperative.

“What everyone here does matters to the community and the reinvestment here matters because we realize that there are still challenges, especially this year, and these grants help enable our schools to provide a benefit to students,” said Morris. “CAWACO has made itself very available to work with in our county and it’s been a pleasure to serve.”

The RC&D program was established by the Agriculture Act of 1962 to provide a program that empowers rural people to help themselves. RC&D areas include adjacent counties that have substantial natural resources to use for economic improvement and community betterment. There are nine RC&D councils throughout the state. RC&D Councils in Alabama are non-profit, tax-exempt organizations within the state that are designated 501(c) (3) entities by the Internal Revenue Service.

CAWACO RC&D serves Shelby, Jefferson, Blount, Walker and Chilton counties. RC&D Councils are made up of citizens in an RC&D area who want a better life for themselves, their children and future generations. RC&D Council representatives and alternates are volunteers who assist RC&D. For more information, visit Cawaco.org.