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|04-30-03: Ohio to give $300,000 to Mendon
|By TIMOTHY COX
The Daily Standard
MENDON - Village officials learned Tuesday the town has been approved
for a $300,000 Ohio Department of Development grant aimed at improving economically
The grant money is three times more than Mendon's annual general fund
budget. Mayor Ron Griesdorn has called the grant the best thing to ever happen to the
Village officials have pledged to provide an additional $70,000 in
matching money over two years, and Mercer County Commissioners have stated their
intentions to grant the town up to $50,000 over two years, giving village leaders $420,000
to begin the reconstruction of Main Street.
Jared Ebbing, an engineer for Fanning/Howey Associates, Celina, told
village officials about the grant award at Tuesday's regular meeting. The villages of Ohio
City, New Weston and Bradford also were approved for $300,000 grants, Ebbing said.
Ebbing praised village officials for their work in securing the grant
funding. Without the public meetings, income surveys and outside assistance from county
officials, the town likely would not have received the award, he said.
"Those things helped put them over the top," Ebbing said.
"It just proves that when a community comes together, look what you can get."
Mendon qualified for the special program after an income survey of the
town showed that 64 percent of residents met low- to moderate-income guidelines.
The money represents a huge influx of money into the town that will pay
for a project the town likely could have never financed on its own. Complete
reconstruction of the road surface and the installation of curb and gutter along the
entire 3,000-foot stretch could cost an estimated $1.2 million. Officials are hoping they
can do one-third to half of the project with the first round of funding.
Mendon would be eligible to apply for further distressed community
funding next year, but program administrators likely would look elsewhere for a community
in need of funding, Ebbing said. But that doesn't mean there isn't more grant money
available for Mendon.
Ebbing said he plans to use the $420,000 in grant and local money as a
match to apply for an additional $300,000 in Ohio Public Works Commission Issue II money.
The sizable local match makes it a good possibility the town can secure additional
funding, he said.
"The goal is to get the entire street done. We're going to do
everything we can to get as much assistance with that as possible," Ebbing said.
Also Tuesday, discussion about filling the vacant cemetery sexton's
position led to the resignation of Bill Snider as the town's street commissioner. Snider
will continue to serve as utilities superintendent.
The sexton post has been vacant since the end of 2002 and officials
have had no luck in finding someone interested and qualified. Council members decided
Tuesday that the work could be done by village employees and assigned the task to the
street commissioner. But Snider did not want the extra work and resigned his title of
street commissioner. Snider said the town's other employee, Randy Severn, should be
responsible for the street commissioner work, including the new cemetery duties, anyway.
In other business Tuesday, council members:
- Passed second reading of a resolution transferring $3,000 from the
general fund to the cemetery fund.
- Passed second reading of a resolution authorizing a contract with the
Mercer County Emergency Medical Service for ambulance service.
- Passed second reading of an ordinance granting 3.5 percent pay raises
to village employees with the pay hikes retroactive to Jan. 1.
- Passed final reading of an ordinance to participate in an American
Municipal Power of Ohio study to see if the cooperative should develop a new coal-based
- Passed second reading of an ordinance amending the town's grass and
weed ordinance that allows officials to respond faster to complaints and problems.
- Passed second reading of an ordinance that prohibits construction
debris from being stored in open view.
- Passed second reading of an ordinance amending the junk car ordinance
that gives alleged violators more time to remedy any problems.
- Passed second reading of an ordinance that bans tractor trailers from
parking anywhere within the village or driving semis on streets that are not designated
- Passed second reading of an ordinance removing Presidents day from
the list of paid holidays for village workers and adding the day after Thanksgiving.
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