Four Kingman projects to receive grant funding

MCC to get money for job training trailer

Mohave Community College President Michael Kearns speaks to the City Council at the meeting Tuesday.

JC AMBERLYN/Miner<br> Mohave Community College President Michael Kearns speaks to the City Council at the meeting Tuesday.

City Council may be working with Mohave Community College to improve on-the-job training in Mohave County.

Council discussed several potential projects to fund with the approximately $431,000 in Community Development Block Grants the city expects to get from the state.

The projects would have to be approved by the state, said City Grants Administrator Bill Shilling.

The potential projects included extending a sewer line along Beverly Avenue from North Fairfax Street to North Fifth Street, helping low-income residents in that area pay for connections to the new line, funding to help the Boys and Girls Club refurbish its facility, several Americans with Disabilities Act improvements to city sidewalks, pools and parks, purchase a trailer for MCC to use as an on-site job training classroom and additional funding to the city's housing rehab program for low-income residents.

Unfortunately, the city couldn't fund all of the projects at the same time, so Shilling and Development Services Director Gary Jeppson gave Council a number of combinations of projects it could fund at one time.

The sewer line project caught a number of councilmembers' eyes.

Anderson asked why the city wasn't looking at extending a sewer or water line into the New Kingman Addition, which includes Butler and Birdland.

Shilling said there currently weren't any sewer mains available in the area.

Anderson asked if the city could work with the county to change its ordinance.

The county currently requires residents who live near a sewer line and are currently using a septic tank to tap into that line if their septic system fails and the cost to repair it reaches a certain limit, Shilling said. He was unsure of what the repair cost limit was. The city has an ordinance that requires any resident currently living on a septic system and within 500 feet of a sewer line to tap into the line once their septic system needs to be replaced.

Councilwoman Janet Watson questioned the request from MCC to pay for a trailer for on-site job training.

She said she loved MCC and the things it does for the community, but why would the city spend money on something that is outside its limits.

Anderson agreed with her.

"I think this is an example of where there's a county entity getting money from the city," Anderson said.

Jeppson and Shilling said there was no requirement from the state that the money only be spent within city limits and pointed out that the trailer would also be used inside the city limits.

Councilwoman Robin Gordon pointed out that it would probably get the most use at the Kingman Airport and Industrial Park, which is outside the city limits.

MCC President Dr. Michael Kearns explained that the college was trying to create a mobile, on-the-job training facility that could be used to train new employees and current employees at the various manufacturing businesses in the county.

Anderson asked why MCC didn't go to the county for funding, since the county was expected to get the same amount of Community Development Block Grant funding.

"The cities take care of their incorporated areas. Why doesn't the county take care of the unincorporated areas?" he asked.

Kearns said Kingman would actually benefit the most from the project, because the majority of manufacturing businesses in the county were centered on Kingman. The project would be a great benefit not only to the employees and businesses but it would attract new businesses to the area, he said.

Shilling pointed out that the county had already allotted its Community Development Block Grant funds.

Gordon said she liked the idea but was more willing to partner with MCC on the project then pay for it outright. Salem and Watson agreed.

Council approved spending the grant funds on extending the sewer line, helping low-income residents tap into the line, the city low-income housing rehab projects and giving MCC half the money to purchase the job trailer, with the contingency that if the state did not approve the expenditures the job trailer money would go to the housing rehab program.