LAWTON, OK (TNN) - Nearly $200,000 in grants has been awarded to towns and organizations across Comanche County.
The REAP, or Rural Economic Action Plan, Grant was created in 1996 to help fund projects in small towns and counties in rural Oklahoma. Each year, towns and counties submit proposals for things they need money for and this year, four Comanche County towns and Comanche County Emergency Management were selected as recipients for the grants.
The total grant amount for Comanche County came out to $195,099.
In Sterling, $39,340 will be given for an engineering study on water system improvements. In Fletcher, $29,759 will be given for new street signs, stop signs and yield signs. In Medicine Park, $45,000 will be used to refurbish their three existing water tanks. Indiahoma also received $45,000 to be used to conduct a Sanitary Sewer Evaluation Study. And Comanche County Emergency Management will receive $36,000 for a new emergency operations trailer.
Comanche County Commissioner Gail Turner said the money from the grants is a necessity in small towns.
"Basically without the help of the REAP Grants, these small towns and small communities could not do it. They don’t have any way of getting those kinds of funds to do things,” Turner said.
Turner said REAP grants are generally designated for specific upgrades.
"These needs are really very important for these small towns, and most of them are used in infrastructure because they don’t have money for things like water and sewer and things like that. Upgrades because a lot of the water and sewer lines are 30 and 40 years old and they’re having troubles and trying to keep them upkeep but they don’t have money to replace them without the REAP grants,” Turner said.
Turner said each of the grants will make a big impact on the towns they’re given to but the grant given to Comanche County Emergency Management will benefit the entire county.
"The communications trailer they can use on rescues whether they’re in town or out on the Wichita mountains or in flood situations, on disasters, so it’ll be really helpful. It will have generators in it, radios in it, it will be a place for them to get people in and warm them up and get them safe to transfer them somewhere else,” Turner said.
To receive a REAP grant, towns and county organizations apply through ASCOG, which is the Association of South Central Oklahoma Governments. Several other towns in our area outside of Comanche County received grants as well, you can find them here.