Smiley face

New Senior Center A Step Closer To Construction With Signing Of Grant Contract

Smiley face

Sulphur Springs is one step closer to construction on a new senior center. City Manager Marc Maxwell signed the contract with Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs Thursday, Sept. 13, 2022, for a $2.4 million grant to help with cost of constructing a new activity building for senior citizens.

Funding for Senior Citizens Center Construction

The City of Sulphur Springs anticipates advertising for bids Monday for the project, with a construction contract expected to be awarded at the Dec. 6, 2022, meeting of Sulphur Springs City Council.

“This has been a long process, but it will be worth it in the end,” Maxwell said, adding, “The City would like to thank the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, the voters of Sulphur Springs, and the generous donors who made this project possible.”

The project, along with renovations at Pacific Park, was part of the $3 million bond proposition approved by Sulphur Springs voters in November 2019. The city sought bonds which will be paid back over the next 20 years using Economic Development funding. While the city was able to get the new Grays Building built before costs of materials increased too significantly, the same could not be said for the planned senior citizens building, which has been delayed for more than a year now.

Sulphur Springs City Council in December 2021 agreed to hire KSBR to write the grant, at a cost of 13% of any TDHCA  Community Resiliency Program grant funding the city might receive. The grant applications factored in some additional inflation and expanded the original design plan for the new senior center from about 8,500 to 11,000-square feet  to better serve and meet the needs of those utilizing the facility.

The applications was submitted by the January deadline and the City of Sulphur Springs was notified in April that TDHCA has approved the grant for $2.4 million to be applied toward the construction of a brand new Senior Citizens Center on city-owned property just past the railroad tracks on Oak Avenue.

Current Senior Citizens Center, located on Martin Luther King Drive.

Maxwell was authorized to sign the contract to get the project moving. The project has remained in limbo since May 2022, waiting for TDHCA to submit a grant contract; the City would not be reimbursed with grant funding for any costs spent on construction of the new senior citizens activity center prior before the contract is signed.

In September, Maxwell reported an environmental clearance process which involves 2 different comment periods, the last of which was Sept. 28, had to be completed before TDHCA would have a contract to be ready in about a week for signature.

At the Oct. 4 City Council meeting, Maxwell reported another 9-day delay, pushing the environmental clearance period back to Friday, Oct. 7, with the $2.4 million TCHCA grant contract expected to be ready for a signature by Oct. 14, which would allow the city to begin seeking bids by Oct. 21.

Maxwell Thursday afternoon, Oct. 13, 2022, reported the TDHCA grant contract has at long last been signed. The city anticipates posting a notice requesting bids Monday for the project, then awarding a construction contract at the Dec. 6, 2022, City Council meeting.

In addition to the $1.5 million in bond funding and $2.4 million TDHCA grant, $157,767 in private donations will be applied toward the new activity building for senior citizens, giving the city a total budget of almost $4,078,000 for the project.

Oak Avenue property where a new senior citizens center will be constructed in the near future

Author: Faith Huffman

Share This Post On