Three projects funded by grants: Building, gym top list

KINGMAN – The Kingman City Council, with Frank McVey and Dave French absent, voted 5-0 to fund three projects totaling $708,243 selected from the 10 applications for Community Development Block Grants.

The city would use none of the funds for administration and use General Fund dollars instead.

The largest project would rehabilitate the old Central Commercial building at Beale and Fourth streets.

Several business operations, including a restaurant, have expressed interest in locating downtown in a renovated Central Commercial building that was a major player in the downtown in another era.

The application requests $500,000 of an estimated renovation cost of $785,000.

Owner Joe Ott would provide the additional funds.

"The Central Commercial building would be a great investment in redevelopment of downtown Kingman," Councilwoman Monica Gates said.

"The project would bring new business to the heart of downtown."

Councilman Jim Baker made the motion to fund the Central Commercial project for $500,000, the Boys and Girls Club building repairs for $168,243 and the Chat and Chow Senior Center bathrooms at $40,000.

The Boys and Girls Club estimates $200,000 is needed to put a new floor in the girls' gym and upgrade the electrical system.

The facility is owned by Kingman Unified School District and used by the school a portion of the day.

KUSD would contribute $20,000 toward the new floor.

The club has $12,000 put aside for the project.

A large contingent of Boys and Girls Club supporters were present to support the project.

They emphasized the large number of youths in the area receiving service and the safety hazards from places where the gym floor are buckling from water damage.

"We have unanimous support for the Boys and Girls Club project," Mayor Les Byram said.

Paul McCormick, representing the Boys and Girls Club, said the renovation is needed for safety reasons and is an example of community cooperation.

Baker was assured that the school district would extend the lease for the youth group in accordance with CDBG regulations.

He was assured that the possible addition of more grades to make Kingman High School South a four-year high school would not interfere with the club.

Stuart Anderson, the current chairman of the club board, said, "School Superintendent (Mike) Ford wants the Boys and Girls Club to continue its excellent work.

The Mohave County-funded program at the Chat and Chow Nutrition Center on Airway Avenue would upgrade bathrooms to disability standards.

The request for $40,000 would cover the cost to update restroom facilities.

Kingman City Manager Roger Swenson suggested that several city projects be considered as backup in case a project is not able to complete the construction in the 18-month time limit for CDBG funds.

The city, through various departments, has applied for $210,000 to purchase a fire truck; requested $107,600 for three waterline replacements in the Southside area, and $200,000 for two sewer line replacement projects in the same area.

Another city request would provide $48,000 for ballpark light installation at the Southside Park.

A program operated by Mohave County, Sarah's House Victims Center, requested $35,000 to complete construction of the landscaping and parking lot paving for the new facility to be constructed on Airway Avenue and North Glen Street.

Sarah's House provides victim services to victims of crime in the area.

The council said the project is small and not ready until after construction of the building.

Other means of community or city assistance could get that job done.

The city's ongoing housing rehabilitation program that upgrades individual low-income applicants homes for safety would not be continued in the next CDBG cycle.

Grand Vista, a non-profit organization that provides social services and referrals to other social service agencies, requested $160,000 to purchase a building in Kingman to provide a central location for support, training and referrals for the area nonprofit groups.

It was not funded.