Concord Avenue is one of the main gateways into the City of Monroe, Union County. In 2015, city officials created the Concord Avenue Master Plan with the purpose of having a road map with a vision for economic, housing and community revitalization along this corridor, including the enhancement of connectivity to services and facilities for both residents and visitors.
In 2016, Union County’s U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) entitlement funds, matched with local funds, were designated to improve the walkability and safety of Concord Avenue from Old Charlotte Avenue to Lomax Street with the anticipation of sparking additional development along on the west side of Concord Avenue.
In 2021 the Concord Avenue sidewalk project was completed. The project included the design and construction of 1,880 linear feet of new Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant sidewalk, ensuring a safer pedestrian corridor and increasing accessibility to Benton Heights Elementary School and area businesses. “CDBG funds made it possible for Monroe to install sidewalks in our Concord Avenue area community, giving the residents safe connectivity to needed food and services with a direct walking path to our downtown and connectivity to our most vibrant business corridors,” said Teresa V. Campo, Community Development Coordinator for the City of Monroe. “The ADA accessibility ensured that all citizens were included. We appreciate this partnership and look forward to fostering community relationships as we continue to focus on this area.”
The HUD CDBG program is very complex in nature with stringent federal rules and regulations that grantees must follow in to remain compliant. The main purpose of these funds is to help low- to moderate-income individuals with community development, economic development and housing needs. Centralina’s staff has extensive experience helping grantees navigate through the web of federal regulations, which can be a daunting task to undertake for most communities with limited grant management experience. The Concord Avenue sidewalk improvement project is a great example of the power of collaboration Monroe’s local government staff and the grant administrative support from Centralina. By working together, sharing vital resources and grant management expertise, the project reflects a positive impact for residents and the City of Monroe.