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Co-op aims to qualify for fed grants

Callaway Electric Cooperative is participating in a new statewide rural electrical cooperative effort to develop a five-year hazard mitigation plan.

The statewide plan, targeted for completion next May, would for the first time allow all 47 rural electrical cooperatives in Missouri to quality for federal grants.

The grants would fund continuing changes that would decrease the cost of rebuilding electrical lines and other electrical cooperative infrastructure destroyed by natural disasters.

To avoid duplication of effort, each participating cooperative is developing its own plan and all 47 plans will be bundled together in one statewide proposal.

All regional planning agencies in the state are working with individual electric cooperatives to develop the unified plan.

The effort is headed by Tye Parsons, executive director of the Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Governments in Maryville.

Under a federal law, Parsons said, an approved natural hazard mitigation plan must be in place for an entity to qualify for grants under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP).

“As it stands now,” Parsons said, “Missouri’s electrical cooperatives cannot apply for hazard mitigation grants because we do not have a federally-approved hazard mitigation plan.”

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