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Public hearing closes grant, opens application for new one

By Staff, 07/14/21 9:30 AM

PRESCOTT – About 20 people from the Oak Grove community gathered at the Nevada County Courthouse Tuesday for a public hearing.

The hearing was two-fold in nature, with the first part being to close out a grant for the community center. Comments were needed for this purpose. The second part was to apply for another grant to continue work on the community center, with public comments also required for the application.

Herbert Coleman moderated the meeting, thanking everyone involved with the project. He said the project is the renovation of a 6.800 square foot building, which is no easy task, adding the job isn’t quite done yet. The building, though, he said, has been renovated top to bottom, inside and out and back to front.

Melvin Hardman said it was a task when they first started out as the building was dilapidated and needed a lot of work done. “I didn’t think we’d be able to do it.” The community obtained a $75,000 from a Rural Development Block Grant, and paid out $12,000 in fees, leaving $63,000 to work with. The community, he said, came together and put on rafters, a new roof and siding.

Dale Quarles, Rosston mayor, said he watched the project from the beginning but wasn’t able to help much, giving Coleman props for making it happen. The progress has been impressive, he said.

Irene Tidwell said the building looks good enough to hold banquets in, adding it’s taken everyone working together to get it done.

Rosie Williams talked about being involved with Coleman this year in the project, adding she’s thankful for the building. When the project was started, she said, there was water standing in the floors.

Charlotte Coleman, Herbert’s wife, said she looked at him sideways when he talked about applying for a grant to renovate the old school building, saying he was crazy. Now, though, she said he’s done a great job.

This closed out the first portion of the hearing, which also was to close out the grant project. The second part began with Coleman saying the new grant, if approved, will be used to install central heat and air, renovate the kitchen adding new cabinets, a commercial stove and refrigerator, with partitions installed in the bathrooms, along with replacing some doors and having electrical work done in the kitchen.

He asked for suggestions on other things that may be needed. The suggestions included: tables and chairs for the kitchen and banquet room, a steam table, ice maker, blinds for the windows and a security system. Other suggestions were: a water dispenser, sprinkler system, PA system, fire extinguishers and playground equipment for children.

The question was raised about how much this would cost. Coleman said all the bids aren’t in yet, so the overall cost is unknown, but the community will apply for more grant funds than it needs because the exact amount is never approved.

Mary Godwin, executive director of the Prescott-Nevada County Economic Development Office, said the maximum that can be applied for with this kind of grant is $75,000. She added the community will need a different funding source for playground equipment but may qualify for a fun grant.