By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

GRAPELAND – During a called meeting of the Grapeland City Council, held on Thursday, July 6, the city leaders took steps to secure a capital funds grant in the amount of at least $750,000.

Grapeland Mayor Balis Dailey explained the process and said if the city did receive the grant, the funds would be used to help improve the municipality’s infrastructure.

“The capital funds grant we are attempting to get is between $750,000 and $1 million – or whatever we can qualify for – for our infrastructure. We have come into a situation which we will discuss in executive session where we should be a good candidate to qualify for this,” the mayor said.

“The unfortunate thing about this,” Dailey added, “is we have to move quickly on it and we only have a short time to get things accomplished, like environmental reviews.”

Dailey said the city had sent out Requests for Proposals (RFPs) concerning grant administrators and engineering firms. Two of the companies which had submitted RFPs, GrantWorks and Goodwin-Lasiter- Strong, had representatives present at the meeting.

Kelle Stubblefield represented GrantWorks while Jed Morris was the Goodwin-Lasiter-Strong representative.

The mayor said the RFPs had been scored by a committee which consisted of himself, council members Michael Chapman and Velda Parker, David Mills with the city’s water and sewer department and Grapeland Economic Development Corporation Board President C.L. McGill.

“We only had one (RFP) under the administrative area and that was GrantWorks. Therefore, they were the sole finalist,” Dailey said.

With just the one RFP for grant administration, a motion was made, seconded and unanimously approved to name GrantWorks as the grant administrator.

The next agenda item concerned naming an engineering services provider. Dailey said the city had received three RFPs for engineering services.

The three engineering firms which had submitted RFPs were: Goodwin-Lasiter-Strong; Schaumberg and Polk, Inc.; and Everett Griffith, Jr. and Associates.

“We had three excellent engineering firms who submitted RFPs. The consensus of the committee was unanimous and it was Schaumberg and Polk, Inc., out of Tyler,” he said.

A motion was made, seconded and unanimously approved to designate Schaumberg and Polk as the engineering services provider.

Following the selection of the grant administrator and engineering services provider, the council retired into executive session at 6:10 p.m.

After approximately 45 minutes behind closed doors, the council reconvened into open session. No action was taken, however, and the meeting was adjourned at 7:00 p.m.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.