Recently, the Clay County Commissioners received approval on projects to repair two levees and for an economic development grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
"We were very pleased to receive approval for the levee work so soon," Commissioner Paul Sinders said. "When we sent in the information, we were told the response might have come as late as the end of this week. So obviously we are very excited and pleased to get approval so quickly."
The commissioners approved the quotes from Persinger Dozier Services, LLC ($66,233) and Frey Drainage and Excavating ($45,000) in a special meeting on July 16 for the work with the Erie Canal Levee Association and Guirl Ditch Association, respectively.
The county is acting as the fiscal agent in both situations and is responsible for funding 75 percent of each project, but the USDA will reimburse all of the funding the county puts toward the projects.
The commissioners also received word that their application for a Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) was approved.
The grant is for $200,000, and will go to fund a rail analysis and technical analysis of the Chinook Mine property. The application was submitted in late June and the response was not expected until October.
"I'm not sure what sped up the process, but it is a great thing to have this sooner than expected," Sinders said. "I imagine the timing in which we received the grant will help the project start sooner as well."
The study, which will be conducted by the Flint Group, Frankfort, Ky., is also in need of a $50,000 match for the grant. Three companies -- United Biofuels, Resource Landholdings and Headwaters Energy Services -- submitted a letter before the application was sent in that stated they would provide the funds for the match.
"All of the approvals will be very beneficial to the county," Sinders said. "We are currently also working with FEMA as they visit sites and gather information to see what other assistance we qualify for."