CLEARFIELD – On Tuesday the Clearfield County Commissioners approved a grant contract to help the Clearfield YMCA project.
The grant was for a Redevelopment Capital Assistance Program, or RACP grant, in the amount of $1.3 million. Clearfield County will act as the pass through host, while the Clearfield County Economic Development Corporation will administer the grant.
Clearfield County Commissioner Mark McCracken used the subject as an opportunity to bring up the subject of the county looking at project-labor agreements for grants and loans administered from the state through the county. The issue idea came up after recent public outcry concerning out-of-state workers at the Bionol Clearfield LLC project.
McCracken said he would like to explore the subject, not for the upcoming YMCA project, but for future projects that might come to the county.
Such an agreement might be placed in a grant acceptance contract, which would then bind the signee to agreement. The idea behind this is putting a stipulation in the grant that would require the signee to use qualified Clearfield County contractors on such a project.
Commissioner John Sobel said he liked the spirit of what McCracken was saying, but was worried about the legality of such an agreement.
One possible problem that was discussed was that under state law, projects that are bid out must go to the lowest qualified bidder. Any sort of grant conditions would have to be approved by the state Office of Budget.
“We would have to check with the Office of Budget,” said Solicitor Kim Kesner. He added that any grant conditions would have to be molded carefully.