Village postpones grant application
August 12, 2021
Following a public hearing, Monday, on an application for a Community Development Block Grant, Clearwater Village Board of Trustees voted to postpone the application for one year.
Village officials were requesting $435,000 of grant funds for paving improvements. A local match of $661,664 would have been required on the project.
The village’s portion could be funded via bond or bank note.
If the village would have proceeded with the application and received funds, Iowa Street, from Nebraska to First Street, would have been replaced with eight inches of concrete. Grading, curb, driveway and sidewalk construction, culvert replacement and adjustments to village infrastructure would have been part of the the $1,096,664 price tag.
During the public hearing, chairman Steve Hankla asked if asphalt could be utilized in place of concrete.
Tyler Hillmer, of Miller & Associates, said a revision could be made to the grant application.
Village officials questioned the feasibility of spending more than $1 million to pave three blocks.
Hillmer said village officials could turn down the CDBG grant, if received.
“It doesn’t bode well if you turn it down,” he said, noting that other government agencies who have declined acceptance have faced difficulties when applying for funds in the future.
Bill Kester asked what the village’s balance due is on the sewer and lagoon project. Hankla said $1.6 million remains.
Trustee Mike Klabenes asked how other towns fund road repairs.
“Is this how they tackle it?” He asked.
Hillmer said CDBG grant funds are about the only way to fund paving projects.
“If the community is eligible for low- and moderate-income, that’s how they usually do it.”
Administrative costs on the grant total nearly $200,000.
Klabenes asked if the village would be able to cut those fees by managing the grant.
Hillermer said per state statute, bids are required only when the dollar amount totals more than $30,000.
“If you can put the specs together, yes and you can get more (paving)done,” Hillmer said.
Trustee Steve Stearns said he didn’t feel the grant provided “a lot of bang for the buck” with the current price tag.
Earlier this year, the village approved street repairs on two blocks of Nebraska Street and a portion of street, near the entrance to town on Main Street.
The price tag for those two projects, completed by Knife River, totaled $86,000. Street repairs in the business district are not included in the CDBG grant. Hillmer said the village could work on a Downtown Revitalization project, which could be applied toward street repair.
During the regular meeting, Klabenes made the motion to postpone applying for the grant, with Stearns seconding the motion.
It passed unanimously.
In other business, trustees:
• approved a resolution to become a certified leadership community;
• approved a building permit for Clearwater Community Development Group for a structure at 603 Second Street; and
• signed Ordinance 2021-2, regarding a wage increase for village maintenance person, Kate Ahlers.