The $500,000 grant would go toward building Tallatoona a new facility, and director Sheila Callaway says the building is much needed.
“Right now we just don’t have the room we need for all of our programs,” Callaway said.
Programs such as the Angel Food program and the commodity food service have had to be moved to third party locations such as the Gordon Central High School cafeteria or the armory.
“Everyone in the county has been amazingly supportive to Tallatoona,” Callaway said. “But we have run into situations where a facility might be needed for something else.”
Callaway said Tallatoona has filled a growing need in the county. In the fall, Tallatoona received $580,000 in federal money to assist Gordon County residents with heating expenses. Callaway said there is only $146,000 left.
“We have seen people coming in for assistance that have never come in before,” she said.
The new 6,500 square-foot facility would house not just Tallatoona but other service representatives from Georgia Legal Aid, the Georgia Department of Human Resources, Vocational Rehab and Gordon County’s three-bus public transit system.
Callaway won’t know if she has received the grant until August, but she is busy getting all the documents ready to submit.
“We have filled out 800 client survey,” she said.
The block grant is the same grant that the Boys & Girls Club used to build their new facility on 1001 S. Wall St..
Callaway said Tallatoona’s current location, a rental space at 194 New Town Road, just doesn’t offer much space and County Administrator Randy Dowling agrees.
“We believe people will come more often to (provide services in) Gordon County if they had space,” Dowling said.
If the grant is awarded to Tallatoona, the county will have to foot the bill for relocation and other building expenses in the amount of $128,000, but those funds would appear on the next fiscal year’s budget.
The board voted unanimously to approve the application process during the Jan. 19 meeting.