Among the suggestions for a piece of the stimulus money are 12 projects from Park Hills, including creation of a new industrial park, construction of a new fire department and improvements to the Sports Complex.
City Administrator John Kennedy said the city submitted its proposals on Gov. Jay Nixon’s Transform Missouri Web site, http://transform.mo.gov . As of Thursday, nearly 4,000 proposals and ideas for stimulus money projects had been submitted. The submissions are not official applications; however, any that are considered eligible once criteria for the stimulus money is finalized will be able to officially apply.
The site will provide information on Missouri’s share of monies under the federal government’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and will allow the public to keep track of the use of those funds.
All citizens, groups, businesses, non-profit organizations, local governments and others may submit their project proposals on the Web site. According to the Web site, proposals should include projects and ideas that will create jobs in the state and help improve the economy.
Proposals will be shared with state and local government officials and other organizations.
After reading the information at Transform Missouri Web site, city staff decided to take a shot at getting some of the stimulus money.
“The list was developed by staff, but most of it was based on previous council discussions regarding potential future projects that they would like to see developed,” Kennedy explained. “Several are considered ‘shovel’ ready.”
Some projects are scheduled to begin soon, others are partially engineered and designed and some are still conceptual. Most include a cost share by the city.
The projects include water and sewer main construction in the southeast section of Park Hills to connect properties near the Fairgrounds Interchange with the city’s utility systems and St. Joe Drive reconstruction from Main Street to Industrial Drive. Both projects are scheduled to begin soon.
Other projects that are partially ready are construction of a central fire house for Park Hills and the rest of the fire district; an exit from Missouri 32 to the city’s office park and sports complex; construction of parking lots, fencing and upgrading of lights at the Park Hills Sports Complex; drainage structure improvement in the downtown area to channel storm water from the main streets and large parking lots; and a lighted walking trail, restrooms and tennis courts at Haney Park.
The other suggestions are future projects including replacement of bridges across the Union Pacific rail line and the Flat River to allow St. Joe Drive to continue to function as a west outer road for U.S. 67; completion of an east outer road from Griffith to Rosener Road that would connect two separated commercial corridors east of Park Hills; property acquisition and construction to complete an improved truck route from Missouri 8 to U.S. 67; establishment of a new business park to attract high-technology industry to the city; and storm drain, street, curb and sidewalk replacement on East Main Street from Flat River Drive to St. Joe Drive.
Kennedy said he has no idea which projects might have a better chance at funding.
“At this time, we don’t have any indication of how projects will be funded or the basis of selection, so I really couldn’t even offer a guess as to which, if any, will be funded,” he noted. “We do know that some additional funding was given to MoDOT for walking trails, so that one may have the best chance.
“At this point, we would be happy to get any of the 12 projects funded. Then we could see what city money, if any, was available and the City Council could set priorities for those funds.”
Stimulus monies also are expected to fund government grants. Federal stimulus fund grants are available in a number of areas, including clean water and other environmental efforts, social services, health services, energy efficiency, education, nutrition, broadband communication, and USDA grants for agriculture. Agencies distributing federal recovery grants include at least 25 national departments and organizations. Grant application information, updated on a regular basis, is available on http://grants.gov .
Paula Barr is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 172 or at email@example.com.