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Walnut Township receives $900,000 in grants for Fairfield Beach

LANCASTER – It was a good news Tuesday for Walnut Township and its Fairfield Beach community.

Fairfield County Board of Commissioners announced two grant awards Tuesday. The first is a $500,000 Neighborhood Revitalization Program Grant for improvements at Fairfield Beach. Fairfield County was one of nine counties in Ohio to receive a NRP grant.

The grant will fund seven projects:

• Street improvements (7,975 linear feet of motor-paving and chip seal) on Lake Shore Drive (west), Maple Road, Narcissus Drive, Oak Road, Circle Drive North and Hawthorne Road for a total of $165,100 which includes a $5,800 contribution from Walnut Town;

• Construction of sidewalks on Lake Shore Drive (2,315 linear feet of 8 ft. wide asphalt sidewalk on the north side) totalling $118,100 including $12,700 from Walnut Township;

• Drainage improvements (800 linear feet of 18 inch conduit with five catch basins) on Maple Road at $102,500 with Walnut Township contributing $11,000;

• A new walking path (1,600 linear feet at 8 ft. wide) at the Fairfield Beach Family Park for $67,800 with Walnut Township providing $7,300 ;

• A new parking lot (9,000 sq. ft. providing 25 parking spaces) at the Fairfield Beach Family Park at $46,100 with Walnut Township contributing $5,400;

• Additional street improvements on Lake Shore Drive (2,814 linear feet of motor-paving and chip seal) totalling $72,600; and

• Housing demolition (at least one structure) with the $5,000 totally funded by the Fairfield County Land Bank.

Construction will begin next spring and must be finished by August 2018. NRP grants are competitive and are restricted to communities qualifying as Low to Moderate Income. The grant will be administrated by the Fairfield County Regional Planning Commission.

The other grant awarded is a $400,000 Community Housing Impact and Preservative Program (CHIP) that assists low-to moderate income homeowners. The CHIP program assists income-qualifying homeowners with home repairs and rehabilitation to help ensure the health and safety of occupants and preserve affordable owner-occupied housing. It offers assistance with down payments and rehabilitation. Income eligibility is based on 50 percent of the area median for home repairs and 80 percent for home rehabilitation and homeownership assistance.

Fairfield County has received seven CHIP grants since 2000 and has assisted 216 owner-occupied households. The Lancaster-Fairfield Community Action Agency administers the CHIP program for Fairfield County.

Walnut Township Trustee Chair Doug Leith said, “A tremendous amount of team effort went into applying for this grant. We are ecstatic to say the least.” Road supervisor Tim Morris was the township’s lead on the NRP grant application.

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