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CENTERTOWN, Mo. -- The Centertown Board of Trustees is considering seeking funds from a Community Development Block Grant for the village's water tower project.

Bartlett & West engineers are working with the village in submitting a Missouri Department of Natural Resources State Revolving Fund small loan and grant. Funds are available for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure projects.

Bartlett & West project engineer Gary Davis said the current water tower, built in the 1950s, has lead paint on the exterior, which is expensive to replace.

Project plans include removing the current tower and bringing in a replacement, which would be nearly twice as tall, enhancing the drinking water pressure for residents and safety of the tower. The project would replace water lines as needed.

The grant would allow the village to add a second well in the community. Trustee Chairman Adam Brown said the well would help with potential growth. Brown suggested the village use a low- to moderate-income anonymous survey to prove the need.

CDBG project funds are provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development based on community needs. With the current figures used by CDBG, the village of 278 residents does not qualify for the grant.

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Lincoln Brown, regional planner with Mid-Missouri Regional Planning Commission, said the numbers used in 2010 from the U.S. Census said 56.67 percent of the village fit in the old low- to moderate-income range.

Between census years, an American Community Survey is issued to obtain more data. CDBG began using the survey data collected in 2015 last April. Those updated numbers counted 34.48 percent of the village as low- to moderate-income, Lincoln Brown said.

The 22 percent swing in Centertown's numbers is a high amount, which he doubts is accurate, he said.

"It has really high error rates, especially for small towns," Lincoln Brown said.

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

For the survey, an 80 percent response rate is needed. The village must have 51 percent or more of its residents in the low- to moderate-income range to qualify for the grant. Data from the survey can be used for the next four years to apply for other grants.

"If we get 80 percent of the households in the community to present to us a range of what their salaries are, we can turn that in and possibly be able to get another grant," Adam Brown said.

The board agreed to move forward with both applications.

"People will receive in the mail or at the door somebody asking for information on income just to give them a heads up," Adam Brown said. "If we're not going to be able to meet the income level or get 80 percent of the people to turn that in, we'll fall back to what our original plan was of just the tower and the lines. We don't want to strap the community for more than we need to. If we don't go for that grant it's not feasible at all."

Adam Brown said no final notice has been given from the DNR. However, they believe they will qualify for the $2 million loan and would require the village to pay 25 percent of the match.

With improvement, water bills will increase by an estimated $10-$15, Adam Brown said. For full usage of 5,000 gallons, an estimated increase of $15.07 could be expected of residents.

Most rates are based on 3,000 gallons, trustees said.

Centertown voters passed a $1.5 million revenue bond issue for water service improvements last November.

In other business at its recent meeting, the board:

  • Learned the village had received the deed for the ballpark.
  • Approved the next meeting for 6:30 p.m. Aug. 27.
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