Without help from a state program, the Hackneyville Community Center might still be without new tables and chairs.

Thanks to a grant from the Coosa Valley Resource Conservation and Development Council (RC&D), events now have the luxury of matching chairs and matching tables. The tables and chairs were used Thursday at the Hackneyville Community Center to celebrate the grant of $2,200 and other grants from RC&D.

“They have only been used a couple times,” Hackneyville Community Center member Denise Walls said. “They were delivered a couple weeks before COVID hit. We have been closed since.”

The community center purchased a total of $3,640.74 in new items.

The new tables and chairs were set up outside to accommodate social distancing as grant recipients explained how they spent the $29,141.40 from RC&D in Tallapoosa County.

The Alex City Tallapoosa County Rescue Squad received $4,941.40 to purchase a trailer and safety items for using a donated boat as a platform to use its new SONAR equipment.

“This is our second grant we have received from RC&D,” Alex City Tallapoosa County Rescue Squad member Jerry Whetstone said. “The first authorized us to purchase underwater communications equipment.”

The underwater communications equipment lead to multiple grants allowing the purchase of the SONAR used in several recovery operations across Lake Martin and the state.

New Site was awarded $15,000 for expanding its water service along Big Woods Road.

“Small communities are always looking for revenue for projects,” New Site Mayor Phil Blasingame said. “A lot of projects wouldn’t happen without it.”

The completed Big Woods Road water project cost a total of $30,720.04.

Horseshoe Bend School received $3,500 to help fund a field trip to Dauphin Island Sea Lab. COVID-19 forced its cancelation, so the funds were allowed to be used to purchase new student desks totaling $6,136.30.

The pandemic also forced the cancelation of the Tallapoosa County Water Festival. The $3,500 in grants funds are going to engineering plans to repair the issues of a sinkhole at the Central Alabama Community College tennis courts. CACC is receiving $11,500 to help upgrade the tennis facility. The facility will be open to CACC students, the Benjamin Russell tennis team and the public.

All told the grants were leveraged to help with projects totaling in cost of $59,026.95 and that is before the CACC tennis court project is completed.

RC&D allows smaller projects to get funded without going through the state legislature. Legislators do sign off on the projects but the grants do not have to be approved by the legislature.

“The RC&D makes me look good, better than I should,” Rep. Ed Oliver (R-Dadeville) said. “These small grants go a long way and these organizations do their fair part to help make them happen.”

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.