BOCC Holds Public Hearing for CDBG

INCOG (IndianNation Council of Governments) representative Megan Douglas addressed the Board of County Commissioners at the regularly scheduled meeting Monday, March 27, 2023, instructing the Board on the procedure required to obtain a CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) being granted by the U.S. Department of Commerce and administered through INCOG.

This $600,000 grant is specifically for water and wastewater projects and rural water districts, cities and towns may apply for the grant. Ms. Douglas pointed out that the County has not applied for this particular CDBG.

The Board then passed a formal motion to adopt a “Citizen Participation Plan for community development needs for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).”

Once the public hearing began, Douglas informed the Commissioners that the application is due by May 03, 2023, and that  “ The up to $600,000 can encompass engineering as well.

She went on to state INCOG will assist with inputting the information in the OK Grant system, however, the County will be responsible for submitting the application.

Douglas spoke about some of the stipulations: “The funds are originally from HUD (Housing and Urban Development), and HUd has a requirement that whatever project you are doing must benefit 51 percent of low to moderate-income people. More than likely, whatever entity you select will have to do an income survey.” She told the Board that INCOG would assist with the survey.

Ms. Douglas opened up the floor to anyone who wished to speak about the grant.

The only person present to speak about the grant was Charles Linnet, Water Superintendent for Creek County Rural Water District #7. CCRW #7 is in the Southeastern part of the County, including Mounds, and serves approximately 1100 customers.

Linnet stated that the water District is under a consent order with 14 items that must be addressed. He further stated that he roughly estimated the cost to be $200,000 to replace the SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system which is a computer-based system for gathering and analyzing real-time data to monitor and control equipment that deals with critical and time-sensitive materials or events.

Ms.Douglas said that the final cost would be closer to $250,000 since Mr. Linnet’s request does not include engineering. She also told the Board that the Town of Mounds was applying for the same CDBG to repair their sewer system and that this is a statewide competitive grant, noting that last year there were 31 requests and 7 grants were funded.

However, she did say that being under a consent order would garner extra points and that the more money an entity requested the more likely the grant would be funded.

The Board then voted to select and accept the grant request from CCWD #7, for the Community

Block Grant as the 2023 grant application, up to $600,000.00, with Chairman Newt Stephens abstaining. The reason for the abstention is that Stephens is a customer of CCWD#7, and was pointed out by Counsel that customers are also stakeholders in rural water districts.

A motion was passed to sign a resolution adopting the Community Development Grant requesting assistance from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce.

The final motion, which passed unanimously,  was to authorize the Chairman to Execute the Application Documents for the 2023 Community Development Block Grant Application for the Creek County Rural Water District #7.