For Rocheport senior citizens living in Moniteau Housing, doing the laundry is about to get a lot easier.
Since 1974, residents of the eight apartments in the housing complex have washed clothes in the bathtub or used the machines of family or church members. Others load up their cars and drive to Columbia or Boonville to reach laundromats.
But all this will change thanks to a grant from the Missouri Department of Economic Development. The city of Rocheport and Moniteau Housing Project Inc. have been awarded $178,580 to build two additional housing units as well as a laundry facility and meeting room.
Shirley Wilson, manager of Moniteau Housing Project Inc., said the waiting list for housing in the apartments has grown to seven and the grant will only allow space for two new individuals or couples. The apartments include a bedroom, kitchen, living room and bathroom. The units are more than adequate for one person, Wilson said.
“The facility is for seniors that don’t want to worry about maintenance on a house or mowing a yard,” said Trevor Harris, of Mid-Missouri Regional Planning Commission in Ashland.
The Mid-Missouri Regional Planning Commission prepared the grant application, which was approved by the department.
Tammy Miller, public information specialist for the department, said the funds will be awarded through the Community Development Block Grant program.
“The Community Development and Block Grant program offers our community leaders a way to improve living conditions for their residents,” said Joseph Driskill, the department’s director.
Wilson agrees and says the amenities of the new building will improve the residents’ quality of life.
Other groups have pitched in to help pay for architects of the project, with citizens of Rocheport collecting more than $3,000, the city of Rocheport setting aside $2,095 and Boone County Bank Trust donating $2,500.
Wilson is hoping that the grant and the money raised will be enough to finish the project by late spring.
“We’re going to have to be very wise in how we spend our money,” Wilson said. “But we’re finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.”