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Federal Money Helping With Rocky Mount's Growth

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Federal money is helping some organizations fix up houses in Rocky Mount.
ROCKY MOUNT — The growing pains associated with abooming population usually include a negative connotation, such as fearsof increased traffic and longer lines in stores, but one North Carolinatown is cashing in on its growth.

Clinton Clanton expects this winter to be a lot more comfortablethan last year's. The City of Rocky Mount and a non-profit economics grouphave just finished weather-proofing his home. The insulated windows andvinyl siding are a far cry from the drafty house he used to know.

Federal block grants are paying for part of the improvements here andat dozens of other homes across the city. Because of the area's growth,more money is coming in.

Work crews have repaired twice as many houses this year as they did in1996. Community Development Planner Helen Valdez says the money helped agreat deal.

The Nash-Edgecombe-Wilson Economic Group (NEED) is providing otherfederal money to weatherize homes in low-income areas. The improvementsare free. NEED Coordinator Junus Barnes says the group gets more requestsfor help at this time of year.

Rocky Mount's population recently passed 50,000, opening up sources offederal income that had been off limits.

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