For immediate release
Three projects in the Meramec Region awarded Community Development Block Grants totaling $1.2 million
ST. JAMES—Three projects in the Meramec Region received funding through Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) distributed by the Missouri Department of Economic Development. The recipients of the grants include Bourbon, Pulaski County and Dent County. CDBG funding for the projects totals to $1.2 million.
The CDBG program is a flexible program that provides communities with resources to address a wide range of unique community development 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 program provides annual grants on a formula basis to projects tied to local governments and states.
The city of Bourbon received funding from CDBG to allow East Pine Street to be reconstructed from College Street to Route N. The reconstruction is to include new water lines, sanitary sewer lines, storm sewers, sidewalk repairs and street paving.
“This means so much for the city of Bourbon,” Bourbon Mayor Danny Skaggs said. “Bourbon has been wanting to revitalize our downtown, and this grant will get things moving pretty quickly. We are just extremely grateful to get this grant.”
Pine Street is the main street for the Bourbon downtown business district and was constructed over 50 years ago over a clay/dirt base. Also, the street does not currently drain properly which causes flooding in the area. The project was partially funded by a CDBG grant for $500,000. The remainder of the cost will be provided by the city via funds and in-kind labor. Expected completion is October 2019.
Pulaski County received a the CDBG grant on behalf of the Pulaski County Sheltered Workshop to renovate the facility located at 3 Industrial Drive in Richland. Lacie Karr, the general manager at the Pulaski County Sheltered Workshop, said the grant will allow for making the facility less institutionalized and more inviting for their employees.
“Our hope with receiving this CDBG grant is that we can provide our folks with a less institutionalized facility so that they can feel like it is more of ‘home’ to come to rather than a facility,” Karr said. “For several years, we have also struggled with our building not being able to accommodate all of our individual’s needs. Our first order of business was to upgrade the employee bathrooms in order to make them even more accessible. Second, was that we upgraded our building to make it energy efficient. At this point, there is no efficiency with our heating and cooling system. We would love to be able to add solar heating and cooling and then teach our employees the benefits of that to the earth. Third, our parking lot is a straight-up hill, which makes this a struggle to load and unload our buses daily. In the past, we have tried to save funds to complete this project but have never been able to accomplish it so it has been huge that we finally get a chance to do so. Fourth, security systems, our individuals are our number one priority, we are planning to upgrade security by added key pad entry doors so that no intruders are able to get into the building. Last but not least we are going to recreate what the outside of our building looks like. Up our curb appeal if you will. Make our employees and staff proud to pull in on their buses every morning and say, this is where I work!”
The project received $350,000 from CDBG, which will be used to pay for construction, engineering design, inspection and administration. The project is expected to be completed by October 2019.
Dent County received a grant on behalf of the Dent County Fire Protection District to provide upgrades to the Fire Station at 2 South Main Street in Salem. The building was built in 1969 and is a former car dealership and requires some upgrades to meet the needs of a fire station. The building is used for public meeting space and will receive upgrades to make it accessible and more user friendly. The project will replace the roof with a Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) roofing system, add more and larger bay doors and replace the parking lot with a heavier base for the larger vehicles that now use the space. Also, concrete aprons will be added at the new bay doors. Inside the building, the existing public restrooms will be expanded and retrofitted to meet ADA requirements, and a new ADA restroom will be constructed. A new personnel restroom will be constructed to include showers. Finally, a new public entrance will be constructed for the meeting rooms with a lobby and an accessible entrance. Total funding from CDBG for this project is $350,000. The cost of the project is being supplemented by a US Rural Development loan and in-kind work from the county. Completion is expected around June 2019.
Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) helped with preparing the grant applications and will serve as grant administrator for these projects.
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. A professional staff of 23, directed by the MRPC board, 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.