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Commissioners discuss grant funding

| December 23, 2014

COSHOCTON – The Coshocton County Commissioners met Monday, Dec. 22 to open Scrap Steel bids with no bids received. The commissioners closed the acceptance of bids at 9:01 a.m. Fred Wachtel, county engineer, was present and announced that the Ohio Department of Transportation will no longer fund the signs where a county or township road intersect with a state route.

Lt. Jim Crawford met with Christine Sycks, county auditor, and Jinni Bowman to discuss concerns on collecting funds for the OCJS grant, which is used for traffic blitzes and DUI blitzes. The grant was originally for $27,000, but because it is a reimbursed grant, only the amount spent is the amount given. The amount spent was $14,732.59. The advances of $2,500 and $7,000 are to be paid with an extension allowed on the $2,500 and a forgiveness of $96.55.

The commissioners also met with John Cleek, CDC of Ohio, and members of the Habitat for Humanity board to discuss the CHIP grant funding. In April 2014, an agreement was signed for a $20,000 grant for building a home in West Lafayette. The problem Habitat currently faces is that they are having a hard time finding a partner family to move into the house. Qualifications for Habitat families is based on family size, income range, debt to income must not be higher than 43 percent, and the family’s credit, looking at the collections you have and how they are being paid. Income range is dictated by county guideline for poverty level.

One partner family is currently a possibility. However, the family has a 61 percent debt to income, but should be at 43 percent by April 2015. The deadline for families to occupy a home is November 2015. That deadline cannot be extended.

If a family cannot be found by November 2015, the county will lose money and it will negatively affect their grant application for next year. The contractor is at a standstill on breaking ground for the new home because the size of the family is not known yet. About $80,000 is needed to build the new home in West Lafayette. Currently, Habitat has $50,000 to put toward that project and hopes to receive additional funds outside of grant money by fundraising events.

The new family doesn’t have to live in West Lafayette. Habitat owns lots in the city limits and in other areas of the county, so the new home could be built elsewhere if a suitable family is found outside of West Lafayette. That lot could be saved for another year.

Habitat’s qualified families are getting harder to find. Habitat markets online, on the radio, and through signage to find their families, but the main problem is the family’s debt is too high.

Another concern for Habitat is that their first home built in the county is being returned to Habitat due to the death of the owner. This home is in major need of repair. One aspect of the CHIP grant goes for home repairs, but the $20,000 grant they currently have is strictly for construction and cannot be used for repairs.

For more information on how to be a partner family, call the Habitat office at 623-2764 or visit http://habitatcoshocton.org/images/stories/preapp%20flyermarch2012.pdf

The commissioners also met with Ron Davis, mayor of Warsaw, and Cleek to discuss the CDBG grant funding. The $300,000 grant is paid in full and is for the neighborhood revitalization project. The county is committing additional funds for a $302,800 total.

The grant will cover the parks and recreation projects with $132,500 of the grant, fire protection facilities with $80,000, sewer facilities improvements with $21,800, street facility improvements with $35,700, and sidewalk improvements with $32,800.

All work is scheduled for completion in August 2016 but the goal is to have it done by the end of 2015. Grant dollars will go toward construction and engineering. The engineer is to be hired by the county commissioners and the village of Warsaw is to approve plans and sign off on the drawings. The goal is to have an engineer under contract by February. Specs and drawings are to be completed by June or July. All projects will be bid out separately. Currently, it was decided that only the fire protection facilities will be bid publicly.

The commissioners closed the meeting with a representative from the auditor’s office who presented the November Investment Portfolio for them to sign. She reported that the investment came in just under $5,000 than what was asked. Seventy-seven thousand dollars was projected for the year and the county came in at $72,000.

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Category: Government

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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