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Economic Security Corporation Scaling back Bungalow Project afte - KOAM TV 7

Economic Security Corporation Scaling back Bungalow Project after Financial Problem

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

A future veteran and senior housing project in Joplin is having to re-evaluate plans.

After learning it will cost more to complete the project than anticipated.. The Economic Security Corporation is considering scaling the project back. 

For the last two and a half years, The Economic Security Corporation has been pursing a project for senior, veteran and disabled housing in Joplin. 

John Joines, Economic Security Corporation of Southwest Area CEO:"At the time that we submitted it, we were anticipating that we'd be able to build 32 units."

In April of this year, the city council approved the project.. as well as a four million dollar community development block grant from federal disaster recovery funds for construction. 

Joines:"We had been told that this particular project would not require prevailing wage. Since that time, we've come to find out that yes it will require that. And that has made a substantial increase in the cost of the project itself."

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the prevailing wage sets the minimum wage someone should make for a specific job type. 

Between the increased costs of materials and having to pay the prevailing wages, that increase is over 500-thousand dollars.. 

Joines:"Now we're looking at having to scale back the project, and cut every single cost that we can possibly cut."
 
And Joines says figuring out how to make up that difference has pushed the project's start date back by four months.. he wasn't able to provide specific details on what would be changed, but he did say it would include downsizing.

Zach Dodge. Reporting:"The number of overall units, is that potentially going to change?"

Joines:"Yeah, it will. And it'll be a lesser number. The prevailing wage increased our cost by about 22, 24 percent. And we weren't anticipating that. That's not the information we received from HUD initially."

We also reached out to representatives at HUD.. who say they wouldn't have talked directly with the ESC during the grant process.. and that it is the city of Joplin's responsibility to tell grant recipients requirements of the grant. 

We reached out to the city of Joplin.. but no one was available for comment at the time we did this story. 

Joines anticipates starting construction on the Joplin Bungalows as soon as November first.. and hopes construction will wrap up by October of 2019.

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