EPA audit says Grace Hill should pay back most of $2.2 million grant

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – A St. Louis anti-poverty agency got a $2.2 million dollar grant. Now, an audit by the EPA's Office Of Inspector General concludes that the agency should repay the lions share of the money.

Grace Hill Settlement House got the grant to retro-fit engines on school buses, vehicles at Lambert Airport, and even a tugboat. They were to oversea contractors they hired to do the work. But, the Inspector Generals Audit questions the cost of the contract and whether there was enough competitive bidding. They and said Grace Hill didn't follow proper procedures for spending the money. As a result, the Audit says EPA should get back $1.4 million dollars.

Grace Hill contends it didn't waste the government's money and says its submitted documentation to prove it.

Investigator Elliott Davis asked CEO Roderick Jones why they got in that business in the first place. He says Grace Hill has long fought for cleaner air to combat respiratory diseases. This grant to cut pollution seemed like a good fit.

The audit also questions whether enough jobs were created. This is one of the requirements of the grant. Grace Hill says there were. But, the Inspector General's report says it's investigation could not verify that claim.

Read the full audit here: EPA.gov