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Questions Raised About How Grace Hill Settlement House Spent $2M Federal Grant

(via Flickr/JefferyTurner)

A federal audit has raised questions about the way a St. Louis social service agency spent a $2 million federal stimulus grant to retrofit diesel engines.

Grace Hill Settlement House received the grant in 2009 to install pollution-reducing technologies in vehicles like fire trucks, school buses and tugboats. It was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

In a report released late last month, the Office of Inspector General for the Environmental Protection Agency raised several questions about the way Grace Hill used the money. Among other issues, it says the agency did not follow the proper bidding process and paid for costs that were not covered by the grant. The OIG also says it cannot prove that Grace Hill actually did the retrofitting work.

It’s recommending that the EPA try to recover about $1.5 million of the grant. That agency has until December to determine its response.

In its response, Grace Hill disagreed with the findings, and says it’s provided documentation showing that money was spent properly.

Follow Rachel Lippmann on Twitter: @rlippmann

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.

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