CDBG funds distributed throughout county
LISBON -So many projects, so little money.
That is the annual task before Columbiana County commissioners when deciding how to spend the county’s allocation of federal Community Development Block Grant money.
The county’s 2015 CDBG allocation is $247,200, and on Wednesday commissioners met with representatives from the 13 cities, villages and townships that submitted applications seeking a combined $1.06 million to help fund their projects.
A minimum of $63,500 will be taken off the top for East Liverpool, although the city is requesting slightly more. Until last year, East Liverpool and Salem received CDBG allocations separate from the county, but the state changed the program rules last year and now smaller cities are rolled into the county’s grant, although the county’s allocation has not increased.
Under the new rules, East Liverpool and Salem were entitled to a combined $102,000 out of the $260,000 available for 2014, but they agreed to take turns, with Salem receiving $63,500 last year to resurface streets this summer.
Now it is East Liverpool’s turn, and the city intends to use the $66,967 it is seeking for next year to resurface portions of Monroe Street and West Sixth Street from Jefferson Street to Monroe. The city is contributing nothing toward the project.
County Development Director Tad Herold said that in the future East Liverpool and Salem are no longer automatically entitled to a share of the county’s CDBG money and will compete with every other applicant for funding.
Following is a list of the applications and funding amounts being sought:
Project: Install 945 feet of storm sewers in Negley to complete a community-wide storm sewer project begun in 1990.
Amount: $74,295, with the township contributing $8,255, for a total project cost of $82,550.
Project: Install 560 feet of storm sewer and seven catch basins along 20th Street between the state Route 7 bypass and Clark Avenue.
Amount: $108,000, with the village contributing $14,750, for a total project cost of $122,750
Project: Replace walls at the street department’s salt storage building.
Amount: $10,031, with the village contributing nothing.
Yellow Creek Township
Project: Construct storage building for road salt.
Amount: $29,000, with the township contributing nothing.
Project: Replace Woodsdale Road bridge.
Amount: $42,035, with the township contributing nothing.
Project: Install system to remove THM from water storage tank. THM is a chemical byproduct of the water chlorination process, and long-term exposure can cause health problems.
Amount: $50,000, with the village contributing $25,000 of its funds and obtaining grants and loans in the amount of $27,250, for a total project cost of $102,250.
Project: The same THM project as Washingtonville.
Amount: $50,000, with the village contributing $25,000 of its funds and obtaining $40,810 in loans, for a total project cost of $115,810.
Project: Construct an addition onto the remodeled street department garage.
Amount: $74,578, with the village contributing $17,500, for a total project cost of $92,078.
Project: Construct sewage treatment plant.
Amount: $300,000, with the village hoping to obtain another $4.5 million in loans and grants, for a total project cost of $4.8 million.
Project: Finish paving the Pritchard Heights area of Elk and Bluff avenues and Alley A.
Amount: $45,745, with the township contributing $22,875, for a total project cost of $68,620.
Project: Replace bridge on Camelot Drive.
Amount: $100,000, with the city contributing $87,825, for a total project cost of $187,825.
Project: Drill a fourth well as part of village plans to add two more wells to its well system. This is to provide backup in case of an emergency similar to what occurred in January, when well problems created by sub-zero temperatures left the village without service for three days.
Amount: $114,000, with the village contributing $38,000, for a total project costs of $152,000.
Commissioners will likely decide within the next month or so which projects to fund. State regulations allow them to fund only four projects, including East Liverpool’s mandatory allocation.
Commissioner Mike Halleck said they are all worthy projects, but the board prefers applications where communities put up as much of their own money as possible because that allows them to stretch the CDBG dollars.
“I haven’t seen anything bad today. It’s just a matter of how do you get the most with the least,” he said.
The county’s 2015 CDBG allocation is actually $309,000, but $46,350 goes to the county development department for administration, while another $15,450 is required to be used to fund the county’s fair housing assistance program.