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06-19-06 Montezuma hopes to arrange funding so $1 million in projects is possible

By Juliana Brown

  MONTEZUMA -- If all goes well and funding from a Community Development Block Distress Grant and other grants are received, the village could benefit by over $1 million.

  Montezuma again is applying for a $300,000 CDBG which requires matching funds. The village had applied for a similar grant last year but did not receive it. Village officials are more hopeful this year.

  The state also could repave state Route 219 for an estimated cost of $243,000 but the proposed repaving is separate from the CDBG funds.

  On Thursday, Mayor Charlotte Garman will be attending a meeting at the Mercer County Commissioners office to ask for funding help, as well. She will ask for $50,000 contribution, but is hoping to get $84,000. If $84,000 is given, it would provide the village's application an extra five bonus points toward the distress grant.

  Distress grants are based on need, community support and help from other area agencies, and rely on a point system.  From CDBG, other funding sources and the potential $84,000, the village would have over $644,000, some of which could be used for matching funds or other grant applications. If all this works out and grant applications are accepted it would add up to over $1 million for works in the village.

  On Saturday, village council members immediately passed a resolution stating they will put $17,000 of matching funds toward the CDBG. Garman also mentioned the Methodist church has contributed $200 toward the match and the Lake Improvement Association has agreed to do the same. She is still waiting to hear from the Church of Christ.

  In order for the application process to be completed, funds need to be in order and residents of the village need to continue to complete the surveys they were asked to fill out, Garman said.

  Council stressed the importance of residents filling out the surveys and turning them in. Garman said there is "no excuse" for surveys not to be completed and returned. If this grant is obtained the village will have a lot to gain.

  Mayor Garman said President Bush has talked in the past about doing away with funding for CDBD grants. He could stop funding at anytime, she told council.

  "This might be Montezuma's last chance to put in for funding. We are working really hard and getting really close," Garman said.

  One of the important things that Garman said she wants to make clear is that she is not the one picking projects to be done. The projects were put together by Jared Ebbing of Fanning/Howey Associates, Celina, through information obtained from surveys.

  The main priorities for the village are flooding, drainage, curbs and streets and sidewalks. With grant money, all the streets would be paved and curbs and sidewalks would be put in. Drainage in town would be worked on, two dry hydrants, one at the bridge and one at the end of High Street would be installed.

  Also park improvements would happen. The rest of the pavement would be completed and landscaping would be done. The last thing to be done would be to tear down and demolish old buildings.

  In other news, council:

   Rescheduled next month's meeting for 6:30 p.m. July 10.

   Encouraged residents to come to community meetings and council meetings in order to be informed about village projects and the status of the grant.

   Learned catch basins in the village need to be cleaned up. All basins will be checked to keep water flowing and prevent flooding problems.


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