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Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

Plans for new water treatment plant to begin

By Timothy Cox
ROCKFORD - Village officials hope to break ground on a new water plant within a year or so.
The water plant is the most important of several pending development projects in town, Village Administrator Jeff Long said. Village officials plan to meet with engineers this week to discuss potential financing for the project, Long said.
Village officials hope to avoid any further water rate increases to pay for the new plant, he said.
"We've already raised the rates. We're going to try to live with what we're bringing in right now if we can," Long told village council members meeting Tuesday.
The town will pursue a $250,000 grant and $500,000 no-interest loan from the Ohio EPA to help finance the project, he said. Council's utilities committee will meet soon to discuss details of the proposal, committee Chairman Greg Pontsler said.
Also, to keep the costs of the project in check, village officials will seek the donation of two small parcels of land from the former Parkway school site. The land is near the existing water plant.
"It will help keep costs minimal," Long said.
Building a new plant near the old one will make it easier to tie into the distribution system and the town's wells, Long said.
Long also talked about several other pending improvement projects, including:
• Front Street improvement. Village officials are hoping to bid the project early this summer. Before then, village officials must decide a number of issues, including how sidewalks will be incorporated into the project, Long said.
• Franklin Street improvement. Tentatively scheduled for late 2008, the project is now in the preliminary design phase.
• Main Street enhancement. Scheduled for 2008, village officials are hoping to secure a Community Development Block Grant distress grant and other funding for a proposed $1 million improvement project.
• An Ohio Department of Transportation Safe Route to School project. Village officials recently applied to the 100 percent grant-funded program, but so did scores of other communities. ODOT has delayed a decision on a preliminary round of applications because of the volume received. Village officials want to do a traffic study and eventually install new sidewalks leading to the Parkway school on the south edge of town.
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