NEWPORT, Ark.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Development of a park in downtown Newport, Arkansas, is getting a boost from a $16,000 Partnership Grant Program (PGP) award, presented yesterday to The Downtown Revitalization and Improvement Volunteer Effort (D.R.I.V.E.). Mayor David Stewart joined representatives from Merchants and Planters Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) and other local dignitaries to award the grant. The funds will be used for contractual fees related to the new park.
“Our great citizens have really gotten behind the park project since it was announced in June 2015 with the city and the Newport Economic Development Commission,” Mayor Stewart said. “This grant from Merchants and Planters Bank and FHLB Dallas is greatly valued and helps us cover critical expenses in the development process.”
D.R.I.V.E. was established in 2006 to revitalize downtown Newport. Recent accomplishments include the renovation of sidewalks in more than two downtown blocks as well as the installation of new streetlights and electrical wiring in the area.
The new park is slated to include an outdoor amphitheater, walking path, and veterans’ memorial. Fundraising for the project continues.
“Newport has so many positive qualities, and this project will build on that solid foundation of family, friends, and fellowship,” said Jon Chadwell, executive director of the Newport Economic Development Commission. “The new park will add a welcoming aesthetic to downtown and encourage community gathering. That’s a win-win situation for everyone. Thank you, Merchants and Planters Bank and FHLB Dallas!”
Merchants and Planters Bank Senior Chairman Jim Gowen Sr. also serves on D.R.I.V.E.’s volunteer board of directors.
“FHLB Dallas’ support furthers this project, bringing it a step closer to reality,” Mr. Gowen said. “The PGP grant is aptly named since it is the partnership between Merchants and Planters Bank and FHLB Dallas that facilitated this award, and it is much appreciated.”
Through the PGP, member institutions contribute $500 up to $4,000 to a community-based organization (CBO). FHLB Dallas matches the contributions at a 3:1 ratio, which provide up to $12,000 in grant money to a CBO. In 2016, FHLB Dallas awarded $225,000 in PGP funds to assist 23 CBOs. Combined with the $96,200 from member institutions, a total of $321,200 was awarded this year.
“The PGP directs resources to charitable organizations that have the support of our member institutions,” said Bruce Hatton, Affordable Housing Program manager at FHLB Dallas. “The 3:1 match leverages members’ contributions to more positively impact their communities. Merchants and Planters Bank is committed to Newport’s success, and we support that vision.”
PGP grants are offered annually through FHLB Dallas’ member institutions via a lottery system. Funds may be used for research, organizational capacity-building, grant- and funding-application assistance, or contractual services.
About Merchants and Planters Bank
M&P Community Bancshares, Inc. currently has assets exceeding $250 million and is the holding company for Merchants and Planters Bank and M and P Insurance and Investment Services. Merchants and Planters Bank has offices serving the communities of Batesville, Des Arc, McCrory, Newport, Newark, Searcy, Southside and Swifton. For more information, please visit www.mandp.bank.
About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas
The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is one of 11 district banks in the FHLBank system created by Congress in 1932. FHLB Dallas, with total assets of $54.4 billion as of June 30, 2016, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced advances and other credit products to approximately 850 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas. Visit fhlb.com for more information.