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Southeast Mo. town eligible for portion of $500K state-funded grant

Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 5:42 PM CDT
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NEW MADRID, Mo. (KFVS) - A southeast Missouri town could be receiving a portion of a $500,000 grant from the state to help curb crime throughout its community.

Governor Mike Parson recently signed legislation creating an Economic Distress Zone Fund grant program eligible for non-profit organizations who serve the City of New Madrid.

“What this grant is intended to do is provide communities with another option for addressing violent crime or addressing crisis in their communities,” said Missouri Department of Public Safety director Sandy Karsten.

She said there are three criteria points a city must have to be eligible for the grant.

“A homicide rate of at least seven times the national average,” she said, “a poverty rate of over 20 percent, according to the census bureau, and also, a school district with at least 80 percent of the students who qualify for free or reduced lunches.”

She said with those criteria in place, seven cities are eligible for the grant, including the City of New Madrid.

City Administrator Richard McGill said they are aware of the grant and plan to take action.

“We’re just in the very beginning stages of trying to decide internally what we might use it for, why we were selected and try to focus on something specific that might meet the qualifications of the grant,” he said.

McGill said the city already has a scheduled meeting with a local nonprofit to discuss grand application details.

“We will meet Monday when my chief gets back in town, with the Family Resource Center, to try to nail down some specifics. To maybe look at some equipment that might be needed that we are short on or some other need the police department might have,” McGill said.

“I think this is a great opportunity for communities to partner with organizations in their area,” said Karsten. “And address some of the issues that they know are occurring in their community and to try and make it better for everyone.”

The application deadline for nonprofit organizations who service the City of New Madrid to apply is October 29.

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