Commissioners consider block grant projects

Discussions surrounding the county’s Community Development Block Grants continued Tuesday morning at the Seneca County commissioners meeting.

Seneca Regional Planning Executive Director Jill Griffin said in addition to selecting projects and alternate projects for the CDBG, commissioners are required to include the amount of money from the grant that is to go toward fair housing components and administration fees.

The fair housing components of the CDBG – including education on fair housing, informational brochures and training – are requirements for the grant, Griffin said. The fair housing component usually costs $2,000-5,000, depending on the number of projects and activities offered, she said.

Administration fees include application preparation, grant agreements, environmental reviews, record-keeping and other duties, Griffin said.

She said administration fees and fair housing combined cost about $18,000 from the CDBG last year.

Since the county is applying for two set aside grants Critical Infrastructure and Neighborhood Revitalization there would be additional administration costs if the county is awarded those competitive grants.

Board President Jeff Wagner said the fair housing costs are a “waste of resources” and suggested the board spend the minimum to comply with the grant, but said the board should give a reasonable amount toward administrative fees.

Griffin said commissioners should commit 15 percent of CDBG funding to administration fees and the fair housing costs, which would be about $17,000 from the $114,000 the county is to receive. She also asked for 15 percent from the two competitive $300,000 set-aside grants for administration fees.

The commissioners have agreed to lower the amount of the CDBG funding going toward the the Bettsville project to $47,500, while Fostoria’s project will receive $9,500 and Bloomville will get $40,000.

The county also has agreed to apply for competitive grants for projects in New Riegel and Fostoria – both worth up to $300,000, but that funding is not guaranteed.

In other business, County Engineer Mark Zimmerman gave commissioners several updates from his office, including a sewer backup in the Hammer-Heinsman Subdivision, outside of Fostoria on SR 18.

Zimmerman said the backups caused major damage to homes in the area. He said his office has put a camera through the sewer line to identify the problem.

He also gave an update on the Bascom sewer project. He said the new Hopewell-Loudon high school has been tied into the new system and the Meadowbrook campground will be tied in soon.

Also during the meeting, representatives from CORSA, the county’s property and liability insurance provider, gave commissioners an overview of the county’s insurance.

CORSA representative Brian Smith said the county’s premiums increased about 3 percent from last year.

Smith said the higher premiums are a result of the county’s property values increasing from $100 million to $110 million as a result of the new SCAT and youth center buildings.

In other business, the county received sealed bids for obstruction removal of trees at the Seneca County Airport.

In new business, the board approved:

Bill vouchers

A supplemental appropriation of $1,167.97 for the Law Library Resources Board fund.

An appropriation adjustment of $1,100 within the General Fund.

A supplemental appropriation of $1,000 for the General Fund.

An appropriation adjustment of $3,546 within the General Fund.

A supplemental appropriation of $2,500 within the Wireless 9-1-1 System fund.

A supplemental appropriation of $2,150 for the VOCA grant fund.

A supplemental appropriation of $150 for the VAP costs and miscellaneous fund.

A resolution amending Amendment No. 2 to the contract with K.E. McCartney and Associates Inc. for the Bascom Wastewater Project.

A resolution authorizing commissioners to sign the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Subsidy Grant Agreement for FY 2014 on behalf of the county Common Pleas Court I.

A resolution authorizing Wagner to sign the sub-grant agreement with Area 7 to deliver workforce investment programming and any other related documentation on behalf of Seneca County Job and Family Services.

A resolution appointing Mike DeWine, Ohio Attorney General, special prosecutor regarding a criminal prosecution and/or criminal representation on a criminal matter of law and any of his assistant attorney generals as he shall determine.

A resolution authorizing Amendment No. 4 with the Northcoast Regional Workforce Investment System Subgrant agreement with EHOVE Career Center on behalf of Seneca County Department of Job and Family Services.

A resolution authorizing commissioners to sign the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Subsidy Grant Agreement for FY2014 on behalf of the sheriff’s office.