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Council members authorize mayor to negotiate tower contract



BUCKEYE LAKE – Monday night, Buckeye Lake Village Council unanimously agreed to allow Mayor Clay Carroll to enter into contract negotiations to provide $50,000 and village property to erect a used MARCS radio tower next to the village water tower. The vote does not authorize Carroll to sign the contract or Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) without Council’s specific approval of the terms.

In a 6:15 p.m. meeting Monday, Finance Committee members deadlocked with a 2-2 vote on whether to recommend to the full council that Carroll be authorized to approve a still unwritten MOU with Licking County and the Multi-Agency Radio Communications Service, or MARCS, to install a 180 feet tall MARCS radio tower on village property. The project would include a 10 feet by 20 feet building surrounded by a fence near the water tower. The village would need to invest $50,000 to begin the project.

Buckeye Lake Fire Department Captain Dave Ruton, said previously the village would eventually earn back the $50,000 investment through credits from the MARCS system billing; the village would not pay for MARCS service until it used up $50,000 worth of billing (or another negotiated amount), which could take roughly 10 years.

“We held a vote; the vote was split,” said council member and finance committee chair Tom Wolfe. See “Comittee deadlocks” on Page 7.

“If this passes, does the council have any more input, or are we in effect authorizing the mayor to sign a contract without any input from us,” Council member Peggy Wells asked.

Council President Kitty Zwissler said she wants the mayor and all council members to review the proposed contract before voting on it.

“We really want to have the village attorney present at that meeting,” said council member Peggy Wells.

Council member Arletta Ruton agreed the village attorney should attend that council meeting.

Carroll said council members also need to authorize an applications for a zero interest $50,000 loan to cover the investment. “The memorandum of understanding hinges upon that loan being available,” he said. The loan would be sought from the Local Government Innovation Fund.

In other village news:

• Zwissler said Buckeye Lake has been declared a “lake area in economic distress” since replacement of the Buckeye Lake dam began, and so local business qualify for grants and loans. “People can apply starting tomorrow (April 12) for that money,” she said.

The following is information regarding the Lake Area in Economic Distress Grant:

Contact information:

Carrie Manno, Business Services Coordinator, Office of Strategic Business Investments carrie.manno@development.ohio.gov

The program was established to provide financial assistance to businesses or other entities that have been adversely impacted as a result of their economic dependence upon a lake that has been declared an area “under economic distress.” The Director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) makes the declaration of a lake as an area under economic distress.

This program is available to businesses and other entities that have limited access to capital and funding from conventional, private sources of funding.

For Whom:

For businesses and other entities located in counties that encompass a part or all of the declared lake’s area. The business or other entity must meet the following eligibility requirements in order to apply for the program:

* In operation at least 24 months prior to the ODNR declaration date;

* Experience at least a 40 percent year-to-year reduction in gross revenue for a defined period; and

* Evidence of a direct link between the lake’s designation and their economic condition (i.e. their revenue is dependent on lake traffic/tourism).

In addition, the businesses and other entities must be in good standing with the Ohio Secretary of State and cannot be delinquent on any tax liabilities or in violation with any environmental laws and/or regulations to the state of Ohio.

Real estate and property rental companies are not eligible businesses under the program. Real estate and property rental companies include, but are not limited to: hotels, motels, vacation rentals, and apartment complexes.

Eligible project costs include:

* Working Capital

* Marketing/Advertising

* Market Research

Benefits:

Grant awards will be maximized at $10,000, with award levels based upon the calculated year-to-year loss in gross revenue.

How to Apply:

* Applicants for the grant program must use the online application for the program and submit it to ODSA electronically.

* Grant awards will be administered on a first come, first served basis and are contingent upon availability of funds.

* If a business is approved for funding under the Lakes in Economic Distress Grant Program it will not be eligible for funding under the Lakes in Economic Distress Revolving Loan Program (neither the Micro-Loan nor the Fixed-Asset financing).

Lakes in Economic Distress Revolving Loan Program:

Contact information: Same as grant program .

The program provides financial assistance to businesses or other entities that have been adversely impacted as a result of their economic dependence upon a lake that has been declared an area “under economic distress.” It’s available to businesses and other entities that have limited access to capital and financing from conventional, private sources and will offer two types of loans: a Micro-Loan and a Fixed-Asset Loan. The Micro- Loan will focus on working capital needs, while the Fixed-Asset Loan will help to finance costs of improvements to real property, machinery or equipment for use in the business.

For Whom:

Same eligibility requirements and exclusions as the grant program. Eligible projects include those that directly assist affected businesses and other entities by maintaining and/or upgrading their operations. Projects that market or promote the region as a whole are not eligible.

Micro-Loan Program

The Micro-Loan Program will provide loans to cover working capital costs. Loans will not exceed

$5,000 per borrower.

The term of the loan will be up to seven years. Loan payments will be deferred for the first 12 months following the initial disbursement, and the principal will be amortized over the remaining term of the loan.

Fixed-Asset Loan Program

The Fixed-Asset Loan Program will provide loans to assist in the financing costs of improvements to real property, machinery or equipment for use in the business. Eligible costs include, but are not limited to:

* Building renovations

* Long-term leasehold improvements

* Site improvements

* Equipment purchase/upgrades/ rental payments

* Furniture/fixtures

* Dock storage/construction/ installation

* Signage improvements/ establishment

Loan awards may cover up to 90% of project costs, not to exceed $20,000 per borrower. The term of the loan will be up to seven years. Loan payments will be deferred for the first 12 months following the initial disbursement, and the principal will be amortized over the remaining term of the loan.

How to Apply

* Applicants must use the online application and submit it electronically.

* Applicants may file an application for both the Micro-Loan and Fixed-Asset Loan programs, but can only receive funding from one program. The applicant shall declare which program it prefers.

• Zwissler encouraged residents to take advantage of the community gardens, which are financed through a county grant. Anyone interested in taking part should contact the village offices.



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