The State of Missouri Department of Economic Development has announced that the City of Sedalia will be awarded $500,000.

The City of Sedalia said it is honored to have been selected as a recipient of a State of Missouri Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).

The City’s recent application for Sidewalk Rehabilitation and Replacement has been approved by the Community Development Block Grant Program in the amount of $500,000. This grant, when combined with the City’s matching funds of $500,000, will result in the construction and repair of ADA-compliant sidewalks, ramps, curbs and gutters.

This grant allows the city to double its budget for sidewalks this fiscal year.

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The grant specifically calls for sidewalk rehabilitation in the area of East 5th Street around New York and Emmet Avenues, focusing on pedestrian access for the neighborhood and providing safe routes to Washington School.

An announcement was made Thursday at 3:30 p.m., at 5th and Emmet, with Mayor Andrew Dawson, Community Development Director John Simmons, State Senator Sandy Crawford, and State Representative Brad Pollitt.

Senator Sandy Crawford and Representative Brad Pollitt supported the City’s application with letters of support and endorsement.

"I could not be more proud of you who had a hand in this," Crawford said during her remarks. "I was certainly happy to write the support letter ... it always amazes me how Pettis County and the City of Sedalia are so good about coming up with grant matches."

Crawford referred to Sedalia and Pettis County as"innovative" and a "shining star in the 28th Senatorial District on how to do things right."

She added that she looks forward to seeing the progress that will be made in the area in the near future.

The CDBG grant is a significant addition to the city’s efforts to stabilize and improve neighborhoods throughout the community. This area is part of the City’s 353 Redevelopment area and has been identified as a priority for infill housing and new housing construction to stabilize the neighborhood and provide affordable new housing in the area. This program will utilize the 353 Redevelopment Corporations funds to construct the new housing and continue a revolving program for construction.

Simmons and Public Works Director Brenda Audrey were the grant writers for the project, it was noted.

“These sidewalks are going to be a big deal to this area, probably one of the biggest things that's happened in this area of town in a long time,” Pollitt told those gathered for the announcement. “And hopefully, this will be an example of future things to come.”

Pollitt credited Simmons and Audrey for the work in writing the grant application. “It's just another example of putting the right people in the right position, then good things happen.”

Simmons, in his remarks, said that City Administrator Kelvin Shaw encouraged him to “get that grant written.”

Simmons noted that 5th and Emmet was chosen as the location for the grant announcement for a reason.

“The grant applies to this area, but over two years ago, we established the 353 Redevelopment Corporation, and we've been working behind the scenes for two years to put the pieces together, to make a difference … this sidewalk program fit exactly into the 353 program, because the lot we're standing on, as well as the empty lot two doors down, the City owns those two lots,” Simmons explained.

Both lots were purchased at the same time.

“We have blueprints created for affordable housing at market rate, to land on these two sites. We're trying to establish the 353 as a revolving program that gets houses built, gets our people into safe housing and out of derelict housing, which we see, and it's been our goal for several years now,” Simmons stated.

First Ward Councilman Tom Oldham and Chairman of the Public Works Committee, said that “we've kept this under our hats for a little while. We already allocated that $500,000 at the beginning of the budget session. So to see this finally come into play and have a million dollars worth of money going to sidewalks here ... you're going to see (improvements) in the entire neighborhood, and it's going to spur that development into other neighborhoods that are connected,” Oldham told KSIS.

“We are pretty good at stretching our money. We've already planned how we're going to do it, and hold the reins on that and make sure we're going to be able to squeeze every penny out of that,”Oldham added.

”We've got quite a few grants going in Sedalia right now, and this is a big one to put a feather in our cap with,” he noted.

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program provides annual grants on a formula basis to states, cities, and counties to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment, and by expanding economic opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons, according to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The CDBG program was designed to reinforce several important values and principles of community development:

The project is supported through the Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grant Program funded by the Historic Preservation Fund as administered by the National Park Service, Department of Interior.

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