Groups to receive First Impressions grants

By Amanda McBride
The Choctaw Paindealer

Nine projects have been awarded funding through the First Impressions Grant program.
Over $20,000 will be spent to stimulate community improvement and broad appeal to the community as a whole.
The Choctaw County Chamber of Commerce and the Choctaw County Economic Development District are proud to sponsor this program.
Eligible grant applicants included, but were not limited to, non-profit, school or religious organizations, civic and veterans groups and sub-divisions of the government of Mississippi.
The maximum grant awarded is $3,300 each and the applicant must provide 30 percent matching funds of the total cost of the project.
Projects considered through the First Impressions Grant program include community beautification/ enhancement projects, building repair/renovation and landscaping enhancements of community facilities, community garden, park or playground projects or community cleanup initiatives.
All projects must be completed by August 1.
Projects awarded are:

  • Broken Wings with the goal to improve accessibility and visibility to the site and also to improve parking and aesthetics of the site. They plan to install two signs, add a small landscaped area with a sign and to add gravel and fix potholes in the parking lot.
  • Choctaw County High School FFA with plans to create a butterfly garden at the Choctaw County Career and Technology Center. Their goal with the project is to provide a learning environment for plant science students and others.
  • Choctaw County Master Gardeners Association with plans to beautify the 4-H building, which was the former Prairie Opportunity location. The project includes installing raised flowerbeds, planting flowers, painting rooms and adding shutters to windows. The 4-H Club will assist with the project.
  • Choctaw County Medical Foundation to create two courtyards at the new hospital location, at the intersection of Highways 12 and 15 in Ackerman. The foundation plans to install picnic tables, metal and concrete park benches, concrete planters and birdbaths and landscape the areas.
  • French Camp Academy Historic District to enhance the appearance of the FCA Historic District with landscaping and to improve the quality of the road. They plan to perform roadwork and landscape enhancements.
  • John Wesley Miller Community Foundation to begin a beautification project at Hopewell Cemetery in the Spay community. They plan to beautify the historic cemetery by planting perennial plants, shrubs and oak trees and to include brick and stone edgings.
  • The Town of Ackerman to replace old, worn Christmas decorations. The town said replacing the Christmas decorations would add to the beauty and spirit of the Christmas season for citizens.
  • The Town of French Camp plans to repair and renovate their town hall. The Town Hall flooded in January. They would like to make it a “a place that we are proud of inviting folks in.” They also plan to add FCA 1A State Champs signs to the already existing welcome to French Camp signs.
  • The Town of Weir plans to renovate the newly acquired Town of Weir Community Center. The town has acquired the ‘old drug store’ building with plans “provide a facility in the Town of Weir that will serve the needs of meeting space and special occasions as a community center. The town plans to paint the inside, purchase tables and chairs and to install heaters inside the building. The building will be named the Donald W. Crowder Community Center.