Grant projects sent for state's approval

County seeks $700,000+ from block grant

KINGMAN - The Mohave County Community and Economic Development Department will submit applications to the state for $733,139 in funds from the Community Development Block Grant.

With no discussion at a meeting Monday, the Mohave County Board of Supervisors approved the submission for projects in each district. In District 1, $51,600 will be used toward the purchase of three meal delivery vehicles for Mohave County senior programs. The district will also utilize $91,520 to assist in the payroll of two staff members at Sarah's House.

Supervisor Pete Byers' district will also get $40,000 to go to the purchase of a refrigerated truck for the Kingman Area Food Bank. For owner-occupied housing rehabilitation, $17,272 in funds has been designated.

In District 2, $102,000 will be used toward the purchase of a pumper truck for the Golden Valley Fire Department. The district also will receive $46,791 for owner-occupied housing rehabilitation.

An additional $51,600 will be used to buy three meal delivery vehicles for Mohave County senior programs in Supervisor Tom Sockwell's district.

In District 3, $131,591 will be used for owner-occupied housing rehabilitation.

Supervisor Buster Johnson's district will also receive $68,800 for the purchase of four meal delivery vehicles for Mohave County senior programs.

Each of the projects will incur administration costs totaling $131,965.

The CDBG funds were established in 1974 for non-entitlement communities to assist projects servicing low- to moderate-income areas. As part of a gentlemen's agreement, Mohave County and Kingman apply for the WACOG grant funding every other year, rotating with Bullhead City and Lake Havasu City.

"In other states and other areas, it's a competitive process," said Susie Parel-Duranceau, the county's Community and Economic Development Department director.

While Community and Economic Development Department Community Services Manager Dave Wolf said is it very rare for the state to deny the applications sent from the county, he added they often request additional information on each project. "We have never submitted a project that has been ineligible," Parel-Duranceau said.

With the application process started in January, a contract between the county and state for CDBG funds can be issued by November. Parel-Duranceau said the community can expect to see some of the projects approved by the first quarter of 2009.

Since the early 1980s, Mohave County has received more than $5 million in CDBG funds.

"One of the challenges, I think, there is a growing need for the Community Development Block Grant funds," Parel-Duranceau said.

The $733,139 in total allocation for the 2008 fiscal year approved by the Western Arizona Council of Governments fell below the original estimate of $746,675.

"I think that in every year for the past four or five, there has been a move to cut CDBG funding," Wolf said.

Groups often use the CDBG funds a one several sources to fund the project. As with the pumper truck for the GVFD, they are utilizing matching funds to purchase the vehicle.

"Typically, we have millions of dollars of projects for the $700,000 we get," Wolf said.

The city of Kingman is also eligible for CDBG grants, and at the Council meeting Monday, four projects were approved as recipients of the city's own $733,139 in funds. Owner-occupied housing rehabilitation within city limits will receive the bulk of the money - $354,139. Another $79,800 will go toward kitchen equipment and computer upgrades at the Chat N Show senior center.

The Burlington Northern Santa Fe train depot downtown is eligible for $177,000 toward Americans With Disabilities Act accessibility improvements, and $123,200 will go toward procurement and installation of ADA-accessible playground equipment and ramada at the city's Southside Park.

In case any projects are deemed ineligible, the city is submitting another owner-occupied housing rehab project that would continue the program. This request is for $150,000.

Miner Staff Writer Nicholas Wilbur contributed to this report.