County, city to seek rehabilitation funds
Park Rapids is submitting a pre-application for the Small Cities Development Program in hopes of receiving federal funds for rehabilitation projects.
David Collins, Hubbard County Regional Economic Development Commission executive director, presented the request to move forward with the pre-application jointly with Hubbard County at Tuesday's Park Rapids City Council meeting.
In 2008, the city and county also submitted a pre-application but were not asked to submit a formal application. The city of Park Rapids last received a Small Cities Development grant in the mid-1990s, Collins said.
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development receives approximately $20 million annually from the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Small Cities funds come from this federal allotment.
The pre-application for the city and county will request $695,100 in funds to be leveraged with $297,600 in other funds for a total project cost of $992,700.
The leveraged funds will come from a variety of sources including private owner funds, Rural Development, Minnesota Housing Finance Agency and others.
Eligible applicants are cities and townships with populations under 50,000 and counties with populations under 200,000.
Projects must meet one of three federal objectives:
-Benefit low/moderate income persons
-Eliminate slum and blight conditions
-Eliminate an urgent threat to public health or safety
The Park Rapids/Hubbard County pre-application target areas include:
-Park Rapids downtown (Tax Increment Financing District)
-Park Rapids residential neighborhood with boundaries from the north at First Street west to the south at Sixth Street west and from the east at South Park Avenue to the west at Fair Avenue
-City of Akeley
-Unincorporated areas of Hubbard County
The goal would be to complete five owner-occupied rehabilitations in the Park Rapids residential target area and 15 owner-occupied rehabilitations in Akeley and unincorporated areas in the county.
Also, the application states money will be used for eight rental rehabilitations and eight commercial rehabilitations in downtown Park Rapids.
A portion of the rehab would be paid for by the Small Cities funds and the property owner would pay for a portion.
Projects must be completed in two years.
Last year, Collins said there was a lot of interest from downtown businesses and he's sure there will be interest again this year.
A lot of this could coincide with the Downtown Revitalization Project, Collins said.
The pre-application must be submitted by Sept. 3, Collins said. The pre-applications will be reviewed and those ranking highest are invited to submit a final application, which is due Jan. 14, 2010.
The City Council approved spending up to $1,500 to help pay for the application. The council also approved a priority needs plan that says owner-occupied, rental and commercial rehabilitation are priorities for the community.
In other business, the council:
-Approved a transfer from the general fund to the Fire Department for capital equipment in the amount of $133,333.
-Approved a resolution authorizing city officials to execute the Kitchigami Regional Library System amended joint powers agreement for the city of Park Rapids.
-Approved a temporary on-sale 3.2 percent beer license to the John Kelly Memorial Fund Inc. to sell beer at the Ted O. Johnson Ice Arena from Friday, Sept. 11 through Sunday, Sept. 13.
-Approved paying $4,950 to Marti and Randy Sip for the removal of 11 trees from their property for the Highway 34 project as per a pre-existing agreement executed with the previous landowner, Bernie Wegscheid.
-Approved a Minnesota lawful gambling LG220 application for exempt permit for the Park Rapids Chapter of Minnesota Deer Hunters on Sept. 26 at the Eagles Club for a raffle.
-Approved paying $2,561.33 to TKDA for professional services for the 2008 CIP-Runway 18/36 environmental assessment.
-Approved the purchase of new street/traffic signs from M-R Signs at a cost of $1,871.57 for the Public Works/Street Department.
-Approved amending the following ordinances: Fee schedule, Section 36.06, Employee/contracted services compensation; Fee schedule, Section 36.09, Water and sewer fees; Water and sewer, Section 50.07, Failure to connect; and Zoning, Section 151.164, Landscaping.
-Approved the creation of the following funds: Fund 317-2009a, General Obligation Crossover Refunding Bond; Fund 318-2009b, General Obligation Refunding Bond; and Fund 319-2009c, General Obligation Sewer Refunding Bond.
-Authorized city officials to execute the compliance agreement between the Minnesota Department of Health and the city of Park Rapids.