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Monday, April 23rd, 2007
By Timothy Cox
Officials expect to improve Zuma with $1.2 million
  Montezuma village officials believe they have locked up another $500,000 in grant funding that will be combined with a recent state community distress grant award to complete a sweeping improvement project.
The award of the $500,000 in Ohio Public Works Commission money means the village will be able to complete nearly $1.2 million in improvements. Planned projects include street, sidewalk, drainage, building demolition and other work.
The town has received an Ohio Department of Development Community Development Block Grant distress award of $300,000, $243,000 in Ohio Department of Transportation money, some state grant money funneled through the county and some local funding.
The $1.2 million total project breaks down to nearly $6,300 for every man, woman and child in the town. Montezuma has an official population of 191, based on Census figures.
"Who would have ever thought? This is a dream for us," Mayor Charlotte Garman said. "I've been telling council all along, you need to pat yourselves on the back because this is big."
Fanning-Howey Associates engineer Jared Ebbing said official notification from the Ohio Public Works Commission on the $500,000 grant will come in mid-May. Ebbing said he is confident the town will receive the money.
"We've scored it out and I've talked with the people in charge of the program ... they're going to get funded," Ebbing said.
The state agency has $12 million to dole out and Montezuma's application stacks up as fourth based on the points system, he said. That means only some "catastrophic" occurence would deny Montezuma its grant money.
In other business at Saturday's regular monthly council meeting, village officials heard about plans to convert the former Woody's Marine into a small residential subdivision.
The property has been purchased by two Dayton-area men who want to clear the site and build a half dozen or so small homes. They envision a gated community of sorts, Garman said.
"It sounds like a real good plan. Council didn't seem to have any objections," Garman said.
Before the project can move forward, the owners will need planning commission approval, possible zoning variances and council approval.
Village officials also announced that the town's annual spring cleanup will be 9 a.m.-noon on Saturday. The drop-off site for junk will be at Canal and Main streets.
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