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Commission votes to sponsor grant for Christos House shelter project

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The Howell County Commission voted on Thursday to sponsor Christos House's application for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to build new facilities at the domestic violence resource’s shelter.

Sarah Callahan and Christos House Director Moiria Seiber met with commissioners to discuss applying for the funding. Callahan, community development specialist for the South Central Ozark Council of Governments, told commissioners Christos House intends to apply for a $500,000 CDBG grant to support a shelter project that the nonprofit hopes to get started in the upcoming fiscal year. 

“They still have not released the Fiscal Year 2022 guidelines, but those should come out next week. The cap has always been $500,000, but your administration and engineering come out of that. If they do what they have said they anticipate doing with the guidance, the admin and engineering will still be covered, but it won’t be counted against the construction cap,” Callahan said. “But if you max out that $500,000, you are still not taking the engineering and admin out of that. It will be on top of it. It’s still covered by the grant. They are effectively raising the grant's limit but still not saying they are raising it because they want to keep the $500,000 as the cap for construction.”

Callahan added that the administration costs for the project are expected to be $10,000 plus 4% of the construction cost. 

Presiding Commissioner Mark Collins told Callahan he didn’t see any problem with the commission sponsoring Christos House’s application for funding through the CDBG program for the project. He noted that the commission could also help Christos House secure funds through the American Rescue Plan Act for the shelter project.

“What they were wanting to build in this two years, the materials though, with inflation, they are going to be short on money,” he said, explaining why he suggests considering that pool of funds in addition to the grant funding, if awarded.

Collins then made a motion to sponsor the CBDG grant application to support building new facilities at Christos House’s domestic violence shelter. It was seconded by Commissioner Calvin Wood and unanimously passed . 

Callahan noted that the county commission is now legally responsible for the project CDBG-wise. 

The commission will next meet at 10 a.m. Monday in the commission room on the second floor of the county office building, 35 Court Square in West Plains.

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