The Clay County Commissioners are ready to sign on the dotted line.
In a special meeting Monday morning, the commissioners determined what paperwork would be needed to make the next step to complete a rail analysis of the Chinook Mine property.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded the commissioners a $200,000 Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) in July.
The study, which will be conducted by the Flint Group, Frankfort, Ky., also requires a $50,000 match for the grant of which three companies -- United Biofuels, Resource Landholdings and Headwaters Energy Services -- have committed to providing the funds for the match.
"The scope of the project is to see what it will take to upgrade the rail lines to modern standards," Michael G. Flint, President of Flint Group, Frankfort, Ky., said. "We need to get the documents signed soon because the USDA wants to obligate the grant money using 2008 funds before their fiscal year ends at the end of the month."
The documents to be signed include a letter of intent, a request for the obligation of funds and a subrecipient agreement which will protect the commissioners from having to use county funds to cover project costs should one of the three vested companies back out of the deal before the analysis is completed.
A memorandum of understanding will also be drawn up, which will state the roles of each party in the project.
Once the documents are signed, an advertisement for the engineering work will be submitted. The work will be awarded based on the company's qualifications, not the estimated project cost.
"We will also have to get the $50,000 match before the procurement of engineering services is advertised," Flint said. "The approximate date for that is Nov. 1."
Flint and the commissioners agreed to have the documents ready to be signed at a special meeting on Sept. 18.