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Residents are setting priorities for possible grant projects

Millersport residents use color dots to prioritize their project choices Tuesday night. Beacon

Millersport residents use color dots to prioritize their project choices Tuesday night. Beacon

MILLERSPORT – Council members by a unanimous show of hands directed Village Fiscal Officer Susan Ramsey to start the steps to put an additional five mill, five year street levy on the November ballot. If voters approve, it would generate about $100,000 a year to be earmarked for street paving and addressing drainage problems affecting the streets.

Mayor Gary Matheny and Village Administrator Vince Popo have been discussing a plan at recent council meetings where the village might borrow money, if the interest rate is low enough, to repave all the streets at the same time. The new street levy would then pay back the loan. Doing all the streets at the same time would likely lead to more competitive bids and would save the village the mobilization fees charged for each separate paving project. Popo said a rough estimate to repave all the streets at once is $1.5 million.

In other business Tuesday night, it was the second of three meetings about the village’s application for a Neighborhood Revitalization Grant. James Mako with Fairfield County Regional Planning explained the process again. Community participation is critical because “the state wants to see community buy-in” for the competitive grants. He was pleased that more than 100 surveys distributed with water/sewer bills soliciting project ideas had been returned. Residents at Tuesday night’s meeting were asked to prioritize projects by placing priorityassigned color dots on project descriptions hung on the council chamber walls.

The grant, if awarded, would net the village about $450,000. The village’s application should include the details on five to six projects, according to Mako. A local match is not required, but helps in scoring. The Fairfield County Land Bank participated in Walnut Township’s successful application in 2016 for Fairfield Beach projects. Mako said the Land Bank is willing to do the same for Millersport.

Land Bank director Michael Kaper said, “We will commit to one or two projects in Millersport. We will pay everything.” The Land Bank takes on properties that have typically been abandoned due to their large tax liens. The bank can get the liens off the property.

“We’re committed to do a number of demolitions whether you get the grant or not,” Kaper added. “It’s a contribution from the county.” He added that Matheny had already identified three or four good targets.

The third and final community meeting has been set for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 24, at the village hall. Tuesday night’s color coding prioritization will be combined with the surveys to narrow down the potential projects. Mako said large price projects might not be the best fit for this grant.

The grants will be awarded in early August. The funds will be released in early 2019 with the work being done in the summer through fall.

Park Superintendent Tom Nebbergall reported that the benches, tables, planters and trash cans for the village’s new park on Lancaster Street at Gift Street have been ordered. The village’s conractor will complete the sidewalk and install fencing and the flag pole once temperatures stay above freezing. The small parking lot at the rear will be paved later this year.

Council’s next regular meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 10, at the village hall.

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