The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

April 13, 2014

Area towns apply for grant funds

ENID, Okla. — Grant funds are assisting area towns in making infrastructure improvements, officials say.

The town of Kremlin, located north of Enid in Garfield County, received a $220,000 Community Development Block Grant to be used, along with $100,000 from the Rural Economic Action Plan, for the replacement of 9,000 feet of water line.

Mareta Woodard, grants and projects administrator for Cardinal Engineering — who writes grants for various municipalities — said construction is expected to begin on the project sometime in June and be completed by the end of November.

The existing lines are cast iron and will be replaced with PVC lines, she said.

Woodard explained that the Community Development Block Grant is funded with federal dollars from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, while funds for the Rural Economic Action Plan are appropriated by the state Legislature.

As part of receiving the Community Development Block Grant, communities must perform an environmental review, which currently is being done by Kremlin. Woodard explained the environmental review entails contacting approximately 10 different environmental agencies to get clearance for the project.

Another requirement for receiving a Community Development Block Grant is that the project has to benefit low- to moderate-income people. Woodard said applying towns must have at least 52 percent or higher of low- to moderate-income-level residents.

“These grants that the towns are applying for help promote economic development and enhance the quality of life. And that’s what they’re designed for,” Woodard said.

Three other nearby communities also have recently received matching Community Development Block Grants, Woodard said. When the grant is matching, the community also makes investment into the proposed project, she explained.

The town of Ames, located in Major County, received a grant of $154,200 and will be drilling a new water well.

Woodard said the city of Garber, located east of Enid in Garfield County, received $193,800 for the replacement of water lines.

The town of Nash, located in Grant County, received $155,000 for improvements to the sewer system.

Woodard said the projects in Ames, Garber and Nash are anticipated to be under construction sometime in June.

Community Development Block Grants applications are being submitted for a number of other area communities, Woodard said.

Funds are being sought to replace 40 manholes in the north part of Waukomis, located south of Enid in Garfield County, she said.

“Waukomis, right now, they are being very progressive in updating and improving their infrastructure,” Woodard said.

She said the total project cost for the manhole project will be $200,000. It will be around the first of September before officials receive notification about whether the grant is awarded, Woodard said.

Funding also is being sought through the Oklahoma Department of Transportation for new sidewalks in downtown Waukomis.

Woodard said she will be meeting with ODOT officials on Tuesday concerning the funding of the sidewalks.

She’s also applying for a grant through the Oklahoma Water Resources Board for other water and sewer projects.

Along with seeking grant funding, Waukomis Town Clerk Tosha Tharpe said a $3,180,000 revenue bond issue approved by the town’s board in October 2013 is being used to redo the town’s lagoon and build a water tower in the housing addition of Morris Acres. Tharpe said leftover funds will be used to redo some streets.

“They’re using that bond money to really do some updates to the infrastructure. And these grants that we’re applying for really are just an additional benefit to the town,” Woodard said.

Woodard is working on a Community Development Block Grant application for Pond Creek, located in Grant County.

If the grant is received, Pond Creek officials will use the funding to complete the final stage of the town’s lagoon system, bringing the system up to Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality standards, Woodard said.

The total project cost will be $300,000, and the grant would be for $160,000.

When Woodard meets with ODOT on Tuesday, she also will be seeking sidewalk funding for Pond Creek.

Ringwood officials also are hoping to make lagoon repairs with a Community Development Block Grant.

Woodard said a grant application will be made for $219,000 for Ringwood, located in Major County. The total cost of the project will be $377,000.

A Community Development Block Grant application will be submitted for Dover, located in Kingfisher County, for lift station improvements. Woodard said the total project cost will be $248,000 and the town would not be required to match costs.

Woodard said a Community Development Block Grant already has been submitted for Lamont, located in Grant County.

She said a grant in the amount of $150,000 is being requested for drainage system improvements. The total project cost is expected to be $180,000.

An application for a Community Development Block Grant also has been submitted for Wakita, located in Grant County.

Woodard said Wakita is requesting $150,000 for street improvements. She said the project will cost $179,000.

Woodard said the Oklahoma Department of Commerce has just $12.6 million to award statewide through Community Development Block Grants.

“These towns are competing statewide for this funding, and its very competitive,” she said. “It’s an outstanding program.”

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