McLouth qualifies for federal grant
by Dennis Sharkey
A new community center in McLouth has cleared one of the biggest hurdles organizers have faced in the 10 plus years they have been working on the project.
Last week the McLouth Recreation Commission received notice that the city does qualify for a federal grant. However, how the city qualified is not good news.
In order to qualify to apply for the federal grant a community needs to have at least 51 percent of its residents living below the median income level. Twice before the city has conducted a survey to apply for the grant but fell short in the numbers. Although it’s good news for applying for grants, it also means McLouth residents are earning less than they were the last time the survey was conducted in 2001.
“I’m very pleased that we’re able to move on,” Recreation Commission member Cliff Weeks said.
Weeks said he will visit with the USD 342 school board this week and inform them of where the process is at this point. A community-wide public hearing will be held although an exact date has not been determined. Weeks said the hope is to have it the first week of October. He said the meeting will be no later than Oct. 14.
Weeks also said the commission approved releasing funds to the city to pay for an administrator to write and oversee the grant process.
According to state statutes the commission cannot own any of its own property. The city of McLouth is serving as the government entity the commission needs to formally work through during the process. The administration contract will cost $6,950.
Weeks said the grant application is due by the end of October and the community should have a response by the first of the year.
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