Work to provide city services for this community's only black family will begin Monday, after $3,500 in private donations was raised for the project. Consequently, the federal government probably will not cut off the city's revenue-sharing.
The fund-raising came after the office of Revenue Sharing threatened to cut off about $23,000 for Claremont. The town of 900 had refused to provide such services as garbage collecting because, officials said, they would have to cross private property to reach the Russell Shuford family's two frame houses.
A spokesman for the U.S. Treasury Department which administers revenue-sharing money, said the government will not pursue the matter if construction on a road to the Shuford property begins as scheduled.
In addition to withholding funds in the future, the agency had threatened to force the city to pay back more than $86,000 in revenue-sharing money received since 1972.
The Rev. Stanley Stiver, president of the Catawba Chamber of Commerce and pastor of St. Mark's Lutheran Church started the fund drive.
"The city was getting a bad name," he said. "They were calling us racists all over the country and that just isn't true. So we decided if private funds were used, it would get us off the book."
Stiver said the Shuford family will sign agreements with two neighboring families this weekend allowing a 60-foot right-of-way for a road across the neighbor's property.