County Notes 6/27/13

County shifts project funds

Federal housing funds will be shifted from a Lakeland senior rental project not ready for development to a Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity project in Cottage Grove after the Washington County Board of Commissioners approved the move Tuesday.
The board decision came after the Lakeland project, in its early phases in 2012 and this year, stalled and the original developer pulled out. The project cannot meet U.S. Housing and Urban Development requirements and deadlines to spend 2012 federal funds and Lakeland city officials declined the 2012 and 2013 HOME funds.
Lakeland’s decision allows the older funds to be used on a “shovel-ready” project and gives Lakeland officials time to find another developer, other funding sources or modify the project.
The Habitat project in Cottage Grove gets more than $158,000 to construct eight HOME-funded houses on Mississippi Dunes subdivision infill lots Habitat purchased. Habitat originally proposed building three homes in 2011 and the funds will help construct the five extra homes.

‘Navigator’ care program extended

A Washington County program that uses a “navigator,” or case manager, to oversee care for clients enrolled in a chemical health care home pilot project was extended Tuesday by the Board of Commissioners.
The program authorizes funds to pay for additional, non-traditional chemical health services as an alternative to treatment and uses a “navigator to assist and advocate for housing support, rental assistance, peer support, family engagement, independent living skills and vocational support.
The county submits the costs of those services monthly to the state Department of Human Services for reimbursement. The county averages about $6,000 in services monthly for the program.
The county pilot program started in 2010 with participants who had no less than two or more treatment episodes in the last two years, undergo an assessment to see if they are candidates for the program, are eligible for the funding program and voluntarily agree to participate.
Early data shows an increase in housing stability, employment and sobriety and a decrease in the rate of detoxification. Many persons in the program also needed medical care for untreated medical conditions.
The navigator found the most common barriers clients face are homelessness, mental health needs, court or criminal involvement and transportation needs.

Two road project contracts approved

Two contracts for engineering work and construction administration on separate road projects in Woodbury and Cottage Grove were approved Tuesday by the Washington County Board of Commissioners.
HDR Construction Control Corp. was awarded a contract for almost $443,500 for construction engineering on the CSAH 19-20-21 intersection improvement and Central Draw overflow projects in Cottage Grove. The two projects are a cooperative effort between the city, county and South Washington Watershed District.
The SWWD contracted with HDR for design engineering on the drainage and road projects. The construction engineering contact includes the county and SWWD portions of the project.
The $7.3 million project aligns the intersections of the three county roads. The work is expected to be finished this fall.
Howard R. Green Co. was awarded a $130,000 contract for construction administration services on the Woodbury Drive reconstruction project from Park Crossing to just south of Bailey Road.
The company performed previous design work on the $9.9 million project and will finish construction engineering, inspection and contract administration. The county, city of Woodbury and a Clean Water Fund grant are paying for the project.

Compiled by Erik Sandin – erik.sandin@ecm-inc.com

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