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La Harpe Will Apply For $600,000 Community Development Grant

The LaHarpe City Council approved applying for $600,000 under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery Program to fix a recurring problem at the Archer Avenue lift station.

LaHarpe's proposed project is repairs to the sanitary sewer system in the area from about East Archer Avenue south to West 4th Avenue and from South 6th Street west to South 1st Street. The project aims to eliminate infiltration and inflow into the system during heavy rains, which has previously resulted in sewage backup in basements and overflows at the East Archer Avenue lift station.

The project is estimated to cost $600,000. The council applied for $600,000, the maximum amount they could apply for without having to provide matching funds.

Eligibility for the funding comes from any of three national objectives. LaHarpe qualifies under the objective that the project benefits at least 51 percent of low to moderate income residents within the project area.

The city will have some expenses for survey work by the Western Illinois Regional Council (WIRC) in the project area and design and inspection work by McClure Engineering. Kevin Wiehardt from WIRC said he did not believe the survey work would cost more than $1,200, because part of the area has already been surveyed.

"We have to survey at least 75 percent of the project area to show we meet the 51 percent requirement," said Wiehardt. "Getting the survey done is a very important step in submitting quickly."

The grant funding comes from $10 million given to Illinois by the federal government due to Illinois having counties declared as disaster areas following flooding in 2013. This money must be awarded and used on competed projects by June 30, 2016.

Wiehardt said the sooner the application is submitted, the better the chances of the city winning the grant.

The city should know by the end of July if it received the grant.

In other business, the council approved spending $1,100 on a police car for new tires, new brakes, and fixing a wheel bearing. The council also approved a bid by Southern Masonry Restoration for $1,700 to take down a chimney and other related work at the historical society. The bid to tuck point the west wall will be discussed again at a later date.

Waste Management will be at the July 27 council meeting to make a proposal for the city's garbage contract.

Attending the meeting were Mayor Ryan Kienast and council members Kenneth Foster, Josiah Neff, Amy Palmer, Dave Mershon, and Marcia Stiller. Absent was council member Darrell Kraft.