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Friday, September 25th, 2009

Commissioners move to accept funds for community projects

By Shelley Grieshop
Mercer County commissioners this week approved a contract to accept nearly $150,000 in federal funds for projects in Celina and several area communities.
The "formula" funding is one of several types of grants administered through the Ohio Department of Development's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. It is a non-competitive grant the county's economic development office applies for every two years.
Benefiting from the funding are the village of Montezuma, Liberty Township, Marion Township and the city of Celina. Project ideas are submitted to the county and chosen at the commissioner's discretion.
Montezuma officials were awarded $46,000 to replace a 625-foot storm sewer on West Main Street.
Liberty Township trustees - who applied for the funding for the first time - will use $36,000 to install a 30,000-gallon cistern and a dry hydrant to establish a reliable water source for the Chatt Fire Department.
Marion Township officials will use their $15,000 allotment for sidewalk improvement. They plan to install 750 feet of sidewalk along St. Johns Road near the community park.
The city of Celina will improve 945 feet of a street in the southwest quadrant of the city with the $44,000 they were awarded. Officials have agreed to add $10,000 in matching funds to complete the project.
The remaining money is earmarked for administrative costs; $500 will subsidize the fair housing program and $5,500 will pay general administration costs such as advertising for bids and public hearings.
The CDBG guidelines mandate the county holds two public hearings each year for applicants and other interested parties. The first hearing was held Feb. 10 and the last was June 11.
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