Projects presented for grant funding

KINGMAN ­ Representatives from the Mohave County Community and Economic Development Department held a public meeting Thursday to discuss the guidelines for receiving Community Development Block Grant Funds and to hear initial presentations for funds.

Nineteen community groups from around Mohave County presented various projects to department representatives as well as those who attended.

Included were requests for funding for off-road fire/rescue vehicles for the Hualapai, Valle Vista and Chloride Fire Departments to assist with remote calls.

The Meadview Fire District requested funding to replace their current Rescue 1 ambulance.

According to their representative, the ambulance is from 1984 and is becoming increasingly unreliable as the call for services is becoming increasingly higher.

The Golden Valley Fire District requested funding to build a 2000 square-foot apparatus bay to service the lower half of the district.

Their representative said they were told they needed a third station in 1995 but have been unable to come up with the funding.

They hope that this will fulfill part of the need.

Also requesting part or all of the grant was the Senior Citizen Foundation for Mohave County that is interested in building a new senior center in Bullhead City.

Last time money was allocated to this organization, they were able to construct a new facility in Lake Havasu City, which was able to draw in further support from the senior citizens in that community.

The group is also hoping to build a new facility in Kingman to account for the greater increase in demand for its use.

The Golden Shores Senior Center, also ran by this organization, is requesting funding to install air conditioning units in the facility to allow use during the summer months.

Two water districts will be submitting requests for projects to enhance their facilities. The Mt. Tipton Water District is requesting funding for support of a spring well project geared to increase the storage area for the water district. They are hoping to alleviate summer water shortage problems. The water district in the Beaver Dam/Littlefield area is asking for funding to help purchase equipment to install a backup generator as required by regulations. While without set plans or estimates, a third water district, that of the Chloride Water District, wants to look into doing an engineering survey to fix or replace the antiquated piping system.

The city of Kingman, who also receives a share of the CDBG funds, is asking for additional funding to conduct a lead paint and asbestos assessment of the old Sheriff's facility and to demolish the back part of the building. In that space, they are hoping to build an amphitheatre-type area adjacent to Metcalf Park.

The White Hills Community Association wants funding to increase the citizens hall. The original building was paid for by the members of the association. It no longer meets current standards for the bathrooms and the kitchen. The association wants funding to add approximately 680 square feet to the facility to bring those sections into compliance with current standards.

The Western Arizona Council of Governments' Head Start program is requesting funding to replace the old kitchen currently located in the building which used to be known as the Little Red School House. The program currently makes breakfast, lunch and snacks for about 120 children who come from low-income families.

A new playground for the Neal Butler Park is being proposed by the Mohave County Parks Department. Their plans for the new park will hold an excess of 60 children on a new, ADA-compliant playground. The old playground is composed of severely outdated equipment, according to department representative Shawn Blackburn.

Funding for a full-time staff member is being requested by the Kingman Resource Group. This group works with those that are temporarily down on their luck. They provide emergency assistance and work toward solving the source of the problems. As their representative, Jane Case, said, "We look to offer a hand up, not a hand out." The funding is required, she said, in order to pursue other funding that will not consider them without a full-time, paid staff member running the organization.

Westcare Arizona is proposing assistance in purchasing two properties for transitional living. They currently operate an established women and children's sober living facility, a 90-day drug rehabilitation facility. They recently began the operation of a facility for men. Their hope for these properties is to create transitional living where families affected by drugs can begin to reunite and move onto starting a new life.

The Arizona Children's Association is requesting funding to provide additional staff to service the Kingman and Lake Havasu school systems. The association provides family and school counseling to local families. Among other things, they help set up budgets and counsel on cleaning and hygiene. Current funding, according to Linda Beckett, is not sufficient to serve the areas requesting their services.

The Mohave County Community and Economic Development Department is also requesting a slice of the pie out of this funding. Their request is to add additional funding to their owner-occupied housing rehabilitation project.

CDBG funds, according to the county, "must be used to benefit low-income persons and areas, alleviate slum and blight or address an urgent need."

Possible uses of the grants can be to improve public infrastructure (water, streets, etc.), community facilities (parks, health clinics, libraries, etc.), housing, public services or economic development, according to a county document.

Mohave County is expecting to receive approximately $703,555 in 2006 federal CDBG funds from the Arizona Department of Housing. At this time, the county is also intending to apply for an additional $300,000 in FY 2006 CDBG funds from the State Special Project account. Mohave County is allocated CDBG funds every two years, allowing a greater spread when certain counties receive the funds.

Within the next week, representatives for these projects will be meeting with staff from the Community and Economic Development Department to gain technical assistance and finalize their proposal submittals by Jan. 23. The summary of the proposals will be submitted to the Board of Supervisors. The Board will then prioritize the projects they want to pursue in each of their districts at their Feb. 6 meeting. After technical surveys and public comment is heard, the Board will finalize the list of projects to submit to WACOG at their May 1 meeting. Award letters could be sent out for the Regional Account as soon as Sept. 6.

Only those projects presented at Thursday's public meeting will proceed to the Board of Supervisors for consideration.