March 9, 2012
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CROCKER—Some 688 residents living in the Crocker Fire Protection District and the City of Crocker will be surveyed during the next month in an effort to determine and document the area's eligibility to apply for a state Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to build a new fire station. Residents are asked to cooperate with the Crocker Fire Protection District as they conduct the door-to-door survey.
Community Development Block Grant funds are available on a competitive basis annually through the Missouri Department of Economic Development for projects such as this one, explained Kelly Sink-Blair, project manager with Meramec Regional Planning Commission. MRPC is assisting the fire district with the income survey and grant application.
The state receives the CDBG funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Crocker Fire Protection District must demonstrate at least 51 percent of residents served are of low-to-moderate income to qualify for state funding. An income survey is necessary to determine if the area meets the grant criteria. At least 80 percent of those households receiving a survey must complete them, in order for the survey to be valid.
“We would like to see as close to a 100 percent return rate on the surveys because that demonstrates to the funding agency that the community supports the project and truly needs it,” Sink-Blair said.
The survey will take about five minutes for residents to complete. Residents will be asked their family size, their income range, race/ethnicity and the make-up of the family—for example, whether it includes an elderly or a female head of household. Survey information is confidential.
The Crocker Fire Protection District is seeking the CDBG funding to construct a new main fire station to house engines and equipment owned by the district. If the area qualifies, the application will be prepared and submitted for funding. This project is expected to provide quicker response times and better service to residents. The proposed project is aligned with the rural fire protection district's mission to provide superior service to the citizens and visitors of the Crocker Fire Protection District service area. The project would greatly help the district's efforts to protect residents, property, and the environment.
Applications to CDBG that prove a need for a facility to serve a large portion of the public and implement a variety of services and programs in order to achieve a higher return on the investment are ones which will receive consideration. Education and health/well-being programs are priorities. The members of the Crocker Fire Protection District currently provide these services through fire suppression, fire prevention, public education, emergency response, and non-emergency response.
Persons with specific questions may contact the Crocker Fire Protection District at (573) 736-2733 or Sink-Blair at MRPC at (573) 265-2993.