After racing to meet a first-of-August deadline to apply for a grant to help pay for the upgrade of its sewer system, it appears the Clarkson City Commission will be able to apply for the grant.
The commission’s ability to apply for the grant, which could supply up to $400,000 of the proposed $1 million project, hinged upon its ability to canvas sewer customers in just a few weeks to determine if at least 51 percent of its customers could be considered as low-to-moderate income families.
In the last census, it was determined the percentage of its customers in that income bracket stood at 48 percent of the total customers. Mayor Bonnie Henderson decided it would be worthwhile to recanvas the sewer customers to see if they would be eligible to apply for the grant.
With just the mayor, the four commissioners, and help from Police Chief Buck Meredith and Officer Rick Clemons, the recanvas was completed.
At Wednesday’s specially-called commission meeting, Ashley Willoughby, with the Lincoln Trail Development District and who will see the grant through the application process, commended the commission on its seemingly Herculean task.
Willoughby had been evaluating the returned surveys and he told the commission its efforts were not in vain. Though he had not completed evaluating all the surveys by Wednesday, he said he was confident he would have enough completed surveys and that the percentage of low-to-moderate income sewer customers would be more than enough to qualify the city to apply for the grant.
The grants, called Community Development Block Grants, are administered at the federal level by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and are distributed to the states for local and state projects. This year, Kentucky has received more than $22 million for projects in the state.
There are six different categories of projects for which these grants are made available. Clarkson’s application will be made through the Public Facilities category, which has more than six-and-a-half million dollars available for funding projects.
Willoughby stressed that these grants are very competitive and said there is no guarantee the city will receive any of the money. He said the approval process will take several months and said the city should know one way or another by March of next year.
“And if you don’t get the grant this time, you can always apply again next year,” Willoughby said.
Commissioner Bob Vincent commended the city’s sewer customers for their help in getting the survey done.
“We want to thank the citizens for their cooperation in getting this done,” Vincent said. “We had very few problems.”
Reach Don Brown at 270-259-9622, ext. 2016.