In the 147th district-Development projects in Cabool and Summersville recently received good news as they were awarded Community Development Block Grants.

In the 147th district-Development projects in Cabool and Summersville recently received good news as they were awarded Community Development Block Grants. The grants are meant to help cities and counties address unique community development needs. The Cabool Development Foundation, Inc. will receive a $299,000 grant through the program. The money will be used to retrofit a building to accommodate a new community health care center. The Texas County Library Foundation, Inc. will receive a grant in the amount of $248,570 to purchase and renovate a new location for the Summersville Library. The library will move from the west side of the village square to the south side. The new structure will be approximately three times the size of the current library. I’m excited to see both of these important developments move forward thanks to the grants made available through our Missouri Department of Economic Development.
After the grants are awarded, there are several steps both project directors will have to take from now until completion.  There are a number of phases for the community health care center project, and they include the following: environmental review, procurement for grant administrator, release of funds by CDBG, purchase of building, preparation of final plans and specs, selection of contractor, preconstruction hearing, construction, and monitoring/closeout.
Environmental Review
The CDBG required environmental review has almost been completed.  It should be completed by the end of September at the latest.
Procurement for Grant Administrator
Next, the Cabool Development Foundation will begin the process of procurement for grant administrators.  The Request for Procurement will have to be submitted to all grant administrators on the approved list maintained by MODED.  Grant administrators will submit proposals to the Cabool Development Foundation and after a minimum time period of two weeks the CDF will review the submitted proposals and award a contract to the administrator of their choice.
Cabool Development Foundation will not have to go through the procurement process for architects because these services are being donated to the project from Missouri Ozark Community Health (MOCH).  The architect can begin the process of preparing the final plans and job specs.
Release of Funds by CDBG
Because CDF is using some of the CDBG funds to purchase the building, they must wait until the completion of the environmental review and a Release of Funds is given from MODED.
Purchase of Building
Once the Release of Funds has been received, CDF will proceed with the purchase of the building being sure to follow with the regulations of the Uniform Relocation Act as described in the CDBG manual.
Preparation of Final Plans and Specs
After the building has been purchased by the Cabool Development Foundation, the next step is for the architect to finish the final plans and specs, being sure the all applicable CDBG forms and federal and state wage rates are listed in the spec book.  The spec book will be checked for content by the grant administrator.
Selection of a Contractor
Next, the architect will assist CDF in advertising for bids to complete the renovation of the building.  The advertisement must be in the newspaper of the largest circulation in the county as well as be published in the trade journals (many times the architect takes care of the trade journals).  The advertisement must be able to be view by the public for no less than 30 days and will specify when and where sealed bids will be opened.
At the bid opening the architect and the grant administrator will work with CDF and open all sealed bids and read them aloud.  The architect will then review the bids to ensure that they each cover all of the same work and make a recommendation as to which contractor to use.  The CDF has the final say in the contractor that is chosen.  After a contractor has been chosen, a notice of award is given.
Preconstruction Hearing
Next, a pre-construction conference is held to review the requirements for the project.  At the pre-construction conference, the grant administrator informs the contractor of any new CDBG rules and how they are going to be handling checking of payrolls and processing pay requests.   The notice to start construction is usually given at the pre-construction conference.
During the construction phase of the project, the grant administrator will periodically conduct interviews of the contractor’s employees to ensure that they are being paid correctly according to the prevailing wage.  The contractor is also required to submit certified payrolls each week to the grant administrator.
The grant administrator will assist CDF with all of the requests for funds coming to CDBG.  The grant administrator will not be responsible for administrating the funds being spent by Missouri Ozark Community Health, but they will have to track the funds being spent to verify matching funds for CDBG.
When the project is complete, the grant administrator will fill out the necessary paperwork, hold a public hearing to discuss the outcomes of the project, and cause the files to be monitored by MoDED.  Upon the completion of this monitoring, the final closeout paperwork will be filled out and signed by the City of Cabool and sent to MoDED for closeout.
The first steps for the library include an environmental report meeting to follow the CDBG (HUD) guidelines, the architect/engineer will start final design of the project, and other required grant items need to be done before construction bidding is advertised.
The block grants are extremely important to our communities and I want to extend a hearty thank you to all whom worked diligently to provide our district with these resources.