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12-27-02: Chickasaw officials hoping for new grant to build sewer
State rejects request for help

The Daily Standard

    Chickasaw village officials are scrambling to line up grant funding for a proposed $2.5 million sewer project after a request for $300,000 in state assistance was rejected.
    Mayor Virgil Puthoff asked Mercer County Commissioners on Thursday to consider the village's project for assistance from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) allocation the county receives annually. It was learned Monday that the town's application for $300,000 in assistance from the Ohio Public Works Commission Issue II program was rejected.
    Commissioners would consider the proposal, but likely would be unable to fulfill Chickasaw's request for $100,000 during a single round of the CDBG program, Commissioner Jerry Laffin said. County officials will consider the request if Chickasaw officials can come up with a plan to spread the grant assistance over a longer period of time.
    "There have been prior projects where we committed money over a couple of years," Laffin said, citing projects in Fort Recovery and Rockford as examples. "I don't see how we could do this in one year. They're going to have to sit down and decide how it could be spread over two or three years."
    Chickasaw officials are getting their request in early to commissioners. The first public hearing on the 2003 CDBG allocation will not be held until sometime in early 2003, Laffin said. It is not uncommon for commissioners to listen to early pitches for local projects, and sometimes even state their intention to fund certain projects before the formal hearings, he said.
    For example, commissioners have stated their intention to provide up to $50,000 to the village of Mendon during a two-year period. That money, though, is contingent on the town successfully landing a $300,000 CDBG aimed at economically distressed communities. It has not been decided how much county CDBG money would be granted in each year, Laffin said.
    If commissioners agree to fund Chickasaw's sewer project and Mendon gets its grant, there likely would not be much money left to dole out for other projects. The county typically receives just over $100,0000 annually for the CDBG program.


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