Feb. 21, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACT: Bonnie Prigge or Connie Willman, 573-265-2993
Meramec Region’s community development, economic growth supported by EDA, CDBG funding
The funding for public works includes sewer, water, roads and buildings, Willman said. Nearly every industrial park in the region has benefited from EDA funding.
“Since the 1970s, the region has benefited from over $14 million in public works funding from EDA,” Willman said.
EDA planning funds are used to promote economic development across the region and MRPC has received approximately $2 million to date since 1975, Willman said.
RLF grant funds are used to make loans to small businesses across the region and to date MRPC has received a total of approximately $850,000. This funding has resulted in nearly $3.2 million in loans to 55 small businesses in the region, Willman noted.
Next, Sink-Blair explained the CDBG funding process through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“This is something that MRPC has been able to use to help communities every year,” Sink-Blair said.
The state of Missouri receives an annual CDBG allocation from HUD to benefit rural areas, and Meramec cities and counties compete for those funds for eligible projects. The allocations have slowly decreased the past decade, with a recent spike in 2009 and 2010 because of Stimulus funding and additional disaster aid. The funds are most often used to support water and sewer projects, Sink-Blair noted. Other projects include housing/rehab, economic development, community facilities and demolition.
For 2012, Missouri’s CDBG allocation totals $19,364,530 in project funds, after state administration and technical assistance fees, with the majority of the funding being used for publicly-owned water and wastewater systems and economic development projects, Sink-Blair said.
Sink-Blair reviewed CDBG project requirements and application deadlines for water and wastewater, community facilities, demolition and economic development.
Community facilities include fire stations, and centers for child care, education, health and seniors. Demolition projects typically focus on demolishing vacant and dilapidated residential or commercial structures. Economic development projects often focus on building necessary public infrastructure to facilitate new or expanding companies.
Willman and Sink-Blair concluded the presentation by noting the importance of the EDA and CDBG programs to the future success of the Meramec Region.
“EDA and CDBG have been our main grant programs, and without those, our funding resources are going to eventually dry up,” Sink-Blair said.
In other business, the board:
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 29, 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.
The MRPC board will meet at 7:30 p.m. March 8 at its office at 4 Industrial Drive in St. James. All meetings are open to the public.