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Second wave of surveys for Russellville residents

Second wave of surveys for Russellville residents

April 23rd, 2019 by Danisha Hogue in Local News

RUSSELLVILLE, Mo. — The city of Russellville is struggling to get residents to respond to a U.S. Census Bureau survey.

While applying for a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant for a stormwater infrastructure project, the Russellville Board of Aldermen hit a bump in the road.

Officials with the Mid-Missouri Regional Planning Commission told the board in late March they needed 51 percent or more of residents to fit in the low- to moderate-income range to qualify for the grant.

CDBG defines low- to moderate-income for a family of one to earn no more than $40,050; the maximum qualifying income for a four-person household is $57,200.

According to the 2015 U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey, Russellville was ineligible for the grant, with 48.5 percent of residents in the low- to moderate-income range.

Mid-Missouri Regional Planning recommended the city do its own income survey to clarify the data.

At the board meeting Monday night, City Clerk Jan Wyatt said she received 137 surveys but only 96 were complete.

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The anonymous surveys were sent with residents' water bills. The board agreed residents who returned the survey would receive a $3 credit on their next water bill. The deadline was April 22.

Regional Planner with Mid-Missouri Regional Planning Lincoln Brown said the city needs 179 qualifying surveys.

Some envelopes were returned empty. Other community members voiced they were uncomfortable disclosing their income amount, board members said.

"You only get the money based on your income," Brown said. "If you don't show that the town has needs then you don't get funded."

Last August, the city received a $220,000 grant from the Cole County Commission. The CDBG would provide additional funds to address localized flooding on Marion Street and parts of Route C.

The city received an application extension of July 31 for the grant. If the city doesn't receive the federal grant, it will look for other funding.

The board discussed knocking on doors or other options to get responses. Wyatt said she plans to do a second mailing to the remaining residents by the end of the week.