For immediate release
Phelps Connections for Seniors receives $525,000 in CDBG funds for senior center improvements
ROLLA—Phelps Connections for Seniors, Inc., in partnership with Phelps County, has been awarded a $525,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) through the Missouri Department of Economic Development.
The grant will used to make repairs, improvements and renovate an existing building and property to create a new senior center. The building transformation is divided into three phases, and this project addresses the first phase which includes site grading, asphalt paving, new wooden fence, sidewalks, new brick façade and canopy and the addition of windows.
When the project is completed, Phelps Connections for Seniors plans for the senior center building to house the local Nutrition Site dining room, ABLE Commission office space, multipurpose area and a thrift store benefiting senior center operations – much like the St. James Senior Center/Caring Center model.
“Rolla’s senior community has long needed a safe, comfortable space in which to enjoy healthy meals, attend social/educational events, relax and socialize,” Phelps Connections for Seniors President of the Board Greg Stratman said. “Essentially, a space of their own to seek companionship and friendship. Phelps Connections for Seniors has been working for several years to establish such a place, and they have made great strides. Receiving this Community Development Block Grant represents a significant step towards the realization of that vision.”
Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) prepared the grant request and will administer the grant on behalf of Phelps Connections for Seniors and Phelps County. The total cost for this portion of the project is $570,000. Phelps Connections for Seniors is contributing $45,000 in cash match on top of the CDBG grant funds. Since fundraising for this project started more than $1.5 million has been collected. Additionally, 50% tax credits are still available for purchase for businesses and naming rights for the senior center building is also still available for a donation of $500,000. Stratman stated in a Phelps County Focus article that the project only needs an additional $500,000 and $750,000 depending on material costs.
CDBG grants support the well-being of Missouri’s communities and increase their capacity for growth. Grants are available in several categories and can be utilized for a variety of community development initiatives and needs.
Beginning in 1974, the CDBG program is one of the longest continuously run programs at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The Missouri Department of Economic Development handles Missouri’s allocation of CDBG funds and offers them on a competitive basis to cities, counties and other qualifying entities outside entitlement areas, that receive direct CDBG funds.
Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. Mary Heywood, representing the unemployed, serves as chairman of the board. A professional staff of 33 offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.
To keep up with the latest MRPC news and events, visit the MRPC website at www.meramecregion.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/meramecregion/.