County OKs block grant plans

Seneca County commissioners selected which Community Development Block Grant projects the county will apply for at its Tuesday morning work session.

The county is to receive $114,000 to use on three projects, one of which must be used in Fostoria, said Seneca Regional Planning Commission Executive Director Jill Griffin.

Commissioners chose a $9,500 project that would make Fostoria’s municipal building ADA accessible. The board also chose projects in Bloomville, worth $40,000 in CDBG funds, and Bettsville, worth $64,500.

Commissioner Holly Stacy, who visited Bettsville to investigate the village’s project, said it was seeking up to $87,000 but would be able to move forward with the project if the village received half of that.

If there are problems with those projects, commissioners have selected projects that involve county-owned buildings as back-up plans, Board President Jeff Wagner said.

The county also is applying for two competitive set aside grants worth up to $300,000 being offered by CDBG.

The board agreed to apply for a Neighborhood Revitalization Grant for a project in Fostoria, and for a Critical Infrastructure Grant for a project in New Riegel.There is to be a public hearing June 4 to further discuss the CDBG application. The final deadline for the county to apply for the grants is June 21.

Commissioner Fred Zoeller said he recently spoke with Seneca County Prosecutor Derek DeVine, who said there are no alternatives to the $5 permissive tax for the county to raise money specifically for road improvements that commissioners can enact.

Wagner said DeVine also said the permissive tax could not be used to fund a study on ways to make SR 53 safer and more efficient.

Zoeller said he was not advocating using the money from the tax toward such a study. He said the Ohio Department of Transportation has yet to say how much the county is expected to pay toward the study.

“The initiative of the $5 permissive tax is utilized for one purpose only – to be to entice ODOT,” Zoeller said. “To have some skin in the game, some contribution, towards a project.”

In other business, Cindy Brookes of WSOS said Seneca County has been selected to receive $56,000 from the state’s water pollution control loan fund for home sewage treatment systems for low-income homes.

Brookes said qualifying homeowners will be required to pay $1,000 of the cost for the systems.

Also at the meeting, central regional manager Natalie Pirvu of the Northwest Ohio Scenic River program gave a presentation on the program and introduced Christina Kuckle, manager of the region that includes Seneca County.

Pirvu said the program strives to protect Ohio’s remaining quality rivers. She said the Sandusky River is one of 14 rivers that meets the qualifications of a scenic river.

In new business, the board approved:

A supplemental appropriation of $55.62 for the Seneca County Ditch Maintenance Fund for 2013.

A supplemental appropriation of $25,191 to SEN-3 Tuss Bridge Rehabilitation fund.

An appropriation adjustment of $143.74 within the Real Estate Assessment fund.

A supplemental appropriation of $10,000 for the Title Administration Fund.

A fund transfer of $10,000 to be made to the General Fund.

A supplemental appropriation of $10,000 for the General Fund for 2013.

An appropriation adjustment of $97 within the Revolving Loan Fund.

An appropriation adjustment of $36.81 within the Community Housing Improvement Program FY 11 fund.

A fund advance of $3,000 from the General Fund to the Moving Ohio Forward fund.

A resolution setting 10:30 a.m. June 11 at the Commissioners’ Office as the time, date and place to receive sealed bids for the SEN-V AR Chip Seal Program 2013.

A resolution authorizing the disposal of unneeded, obsolete or unfit county-owned property.

A resolution rejecting all bids received May 7 for CR 14-1.69 prestressed box beams.

A resolution authorizing commissioners to enter into a contract with R&I Construction Inc. for the SEN-CR38-9.32 bridge rehabilitation.