By David Knopf/Richmond News
The site of the proposed Richmond Community Early Learning Center is contiguous to Richmond’s city limits, Administrator Ron Brohammer said, which makes annexation an option.
There would be no immediate financial gain, but having the site be part of the city would go a long way toward squaring the $953,160 building project with a stipulation that all students it serves be Richmond residents.
Announced by Gov. Nixon last week, the learning center would be built with a Community Development Block Grant and accommodate 36 children from 6 months to 3 years.
The site is currently in unincorporated Ray County at the intersection of Highway 10 and Business 10. A vacant field, it is adjacent to Richmond Head Start, a preschool for low-income students administered by the Missouri Valley Community Action Agency.
As the property owner, MVCAA submitted the application for a grant and tax credits to fund construction of the Early Learning Center.
However, a stipulation in the federally funded state Community Development Block Grant program, the actual CDBG must be applied for and administered by a city – in this case, Richmond.
As a result, the city has scheduled a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 8 to hear input from residents to support a needs assessment that’s part of the application.
“The document will detail what the residents feel are the strengths and weaknesses of the community,” the legal announcement notes. “The city needs as much local participation as possible in order to reflect the true desires of the community as a whole, as well as the comments relating to the proposed project application.”
The involvement of city staff and use of employee time met with some skepticism Tuesday when the city council met, but the city’s role ultimately was approved.