Village sorts out grant

SALINEVILLE-Last week, members the village Board of Public Affairs (BPA) believed a “typo” could have jeopardized the village’s chances of being awarded a $12,500 Community Development Block Grant. However, on Monday, Mayor Mary Smith, who prepared the grant application, said the wording was not to blame for any confusion, and the village will still receive the CDBG despite what was thought to be an error.

The grant will be used to purchase and install a new main pump at village’s waste water treatment plant. Two of the plant’s three main pumps were not properly operating, and the plant had been cited for a slew of other violations by the Ohio EPA earlier this year.

To receive the grant, the BPA needed to gather three quotes. The perceived problem arose when quotes were obtained for a 10 horsepower pump rather than a 15 horsepower pump, which was specified in the original grant application. BPA members called the mistake a “typo,” but said the county’s Economic Development Office told members the particular wording of the application would not stop the village from receiving the grant.

At Monday’s council meeting, Smith clarified that the plant operator had intended to get one 15 horsepower pump to supplement the two broken 10 horsepower pumps currently at the plant. The problem, she said, arose when board members gathered and submitted quotes for a 10 horsepower pump instead of the originally-intended 15 horsepower pump.

“There was no typo, that (15 horsepower pump) is actually what the plant operator applied for, and it was approved by the BPA and council at that time,” said Smith. “When you deal with grants, if you make any changes you have to go back and ask for an amendment (to the grant).”

Once she learned of the possible mistake, Smith said she contacted the County Economic Development Office to ask for an amendment to the grant and advised BPA President James Brammer to do the same. The County Economic Development Office, in turn, checked with the state and confirmed that applying for either a 10 or 15 horsepower pump would be acceptable. Smith explained that somewhere in the grant process, “generic” language was used which did not specify the horsepower of the pumps, therefore, there was no need to amend the grant.

Council approved purchase and installation of one 10 horsepower pump from Great Lakes Pump Co., LLC, totaling $13,325. Since the village only applied for a $12,500 grant, it now must cover the $825 balance.