Jim Byard Jr. visited the Community Action Committee office in Dadeville Wednesday. | Austin Nelson

Archived Story

ADECA director visits Dadeville

Published 11:59am Thursday, December 6, 2012

Representatives from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs visited the Community Action Committee office in Dadeville yesterday.

ADECA Director Jim Byard, Jr. explained that the stop was one of many visits the agency has been making across the state.

“We have been visiting the 21 CAC across the state,” Byard said. “All the different agencies offer a variety of services that are tailored to their local areas, so it is interesting to see how they spend those dollars.”

Byard said that ADECA is responsible for distributing $350 million in federal grant money each year. Local CACs depend on these funds to continue to provide services to their local communities.

David Boleware, director of the CAC for Chambers, Tallapoosa and Coosa counties, said his agency assists those in need in variety of ways, with energy assistance being a large part of what they do.

“We assist low income and elderly people with paying their utility bills,” Boleware said. “We will do this twice a year (per person) – once in the summer and once in the winter.”

Boleware said they also offer crisis energy assistance to a fewer number of residents, due to the stringent guidelines for what defines a crisis situation.

“They have to have a medical statement and be under doctors care saying that the (inability to heat or cool their home) is a medical problem.”

The agency also touts a Head Start program, Boleware said.

“(Head Start) is our child development program,” Boleware said. “We serve 528 children ages 3-5. We provide them with free medical care, dental care and serve them a nourishing breakfast and lunch. We also help prepare them to enter the public school system.”

Although ADECA is tasked with regulating CACs, Byard said Wednesday’s visit was not a regulatory visit.

“This was just a visit to find out more about local CACs, so if there ever is an issue, we know a little more about them and what they do,” Byard said.