Each year the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments (ACOG) sends applications to government entities who may wish to apply for Rural Economic Action Plan (REAP) grant funding. REAP is funded by the Oklahoma State Legislature and administered by ACOG. The applications contain a lengthy list of qualifying elements which are rated on a point system, including the county’s current annual budget, cost benefit of the project, amount of local sales tax, amount of in-kind and cash leveraged funds, project readiness, area population and average daily traffic.
Each government entity is allowed to submit four applications and prioritize them so that if projects rank closely in points, the most needed can be funded. For the last several years, the legislature has decreased the funding available for REAP grants and made the process more competitive. This year there were 49 applications from government entities requesting nearly $6.3 million for projects. However, only $547,792.00 was available in funding. As you can see, it is a strategic process to get one of four projects funded. One way to accomplish this is to include in the lower priority at least one project which may not be the highest priority for the county, but which is assured to score high on ACOG’s criteria scale.
This year we prioritized the four REAP applications for District 2 in the following order: Pine from Prairie Grove to Camp, Post from SH 105 to Industrial, Westminster from Waterloo to Simmons and Midwest from SH 33 to one mile north.
On December 15, 2011, ACOG announced which applications were funded. Nine of 49 applications were fully funded. Our fourth priority, Midwest from SH 33 to one mile north, scored an 84 and ranked 6th highest of all applications. As a result, it will receive $69,500 in funding. Our second highest scoring project was Post from SH 105 to Industrial. This application received 81 points, but did not qualify for funding.
We will continue to seek alternate funding for the projects which did not qualify for REAP. We have already submitted an application asking ACOG to place the project of repaving Westminster from Waterloo to Charter Oak on their Four Year Transportation Improvement Program. In April we will submit a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) application to the Oklahoma Department of Commerce for paving Pine from Prairie Grove to Camp.
The status of funding for other major projects can be seen at: commissiondistrict2.com/BdxmAZ.pdf
Photos of completed projects are posted at: commissiondistrict2.com/ pFgbvk.pdf