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Millersport will receive at least a $100,000 grant

MILLERSPORT – Regional Planning Commission assistant director James Mako had good news for village council members Tuesday night.

He reported that the Fairfield County Board of Commissioners held their second public hearing Tuesday morning on the Community Development Block Grant Allocation Program. The county is eligible for $302,000 from the Allocation Program this year.

Earlier this year, county officials chose the Village of Millersport as its applicant for a competitive $500,000 Neighborhood Revitalization Program grant. If successful, the grant would yield about $450,000 for projects in Millersport. Millersport, with Mako’s assistance, held public meetings in March and April to get public input on possible projects.

While Mako is optimistic that the county’s (on behalf of Millersport) only application for an Neighborhood Revitalization Program grant will be awarded, it is not guaranteed. The good news is county commissioners agreed Tuesday morning to allocate $100,000 out of the county’s allocation for Millersport’s Canal Street repaving project. So at least one project will be funded next year.

Work is continuing on the Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) grant application that’s due June 15. Last month, council members unanimously agreed to contract with ADR & Associates of Newark for engineering services on an annual retainer basis. Last week, Mako and ADR’s Richard Waugh started putting together the required project budgets for the NRP application. Four tentative projects have been selected (budgets are very preliminary at this point):

• Miller Park (approximately $50,000): Pave parking lot, add sidewalk connection and improve stormwater management;

• Water Tower (approximately $150,000): Sandblast and paint it and possibly repair/replace some piping.

• Chautauqua Boulevard (approximately $170,000): Mill (remove some of the existing asphalt) and fill (replace with new asphalt) plus some possible full depth replacement in some areas where all the asphalt is removed and the road base is rebuilt before new asphalt is installed on the rebuilt road bed; and

• Stormwater drainage projects (approximately $100,000: Scope has not been determined.

ADR will be developing more detailed project budgets in the next several weeks. Mako said village officials need to decide how much they will commit in matching funds if the NRP grant is awarded. While there is not a minimum match requirement, Mako said committing to a specific match increases the village’s chances for an award.

Mayor Gary Matheny said he had been thinking about a $50,000 match. Waugh suggested covering design services which would not exceed $60,000. Matheny and council members accepted Waugh’s recommendation.

Mako also emphasized that support letters from community institutions and residents are an important part of the application evaluation. “The more, the better,” he said. Village administrator Vince Popo said a support letter is being drafted that will be available for residents to sign when they stop at the village hall to pay a water bill or conduct other business.

In other business, council members unanimously took the first step to put an additional five-mill, five year street levy on the November ballot. If voters approve, it is expected to raise about $110,000 a year that will be used exclusively to repave village streets or prepare them ( by addressing storm water problems) for repaving. Village officials want to repave every street in the village.

Popo told council members that another water line has broken on Lieb’s Island. He said there were 11 breaks in the year after heavy equipment started running up and down West Bank. He believes the dam construction activity is affecting valves on the water system. “The state has to take some responsibility for this stuff,” Popo said.

Park Superintendent Tom Nebbergall said the benches and tables for the new Lancaster Street park will be delivered this week. He added that a sign will be put up prohibiting skateboarding in the new park. Skateboards have already been seen on the wall at the park.

Council’s next regular meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 22, at the village complex.

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