Grants being sought for several projects

| January 20, 2016

COSHOCTON – ODOT has scheduled the State Route 541 Bridge for a replacement project in 2018-19 and Coshocton officials have the opportunity to apply for a grant to add enhancements to the bridge to make a more attractive entrance to the city and Roscoe Village.

The projects were discussed on Jan. 19 at a council committee workshop. In attendance at that meeting was David Baker who is willing to help the city apply for what he said is a 95-5 grant, which means they would only have to come up with 5 percent of the funds needed for the project.

“A 95-5 grant sounds almost like free money to me,” Baker said.

Service Director Jerry Stenner agreed with him.

“It could become 80-20 or 70-30 in a couple of years,” he said. “We need to get on their books.”

Mayor Steve Mercer said the city has to get its letter of interest for the project to ODOT in February.

“They are interested in spending some money here,” he said. “ODOT estimated the enhancements to the bridge would cost 1.6 million and we would only have to pay 5 percent of that.”

City officials had the opportunity to view drawings of what the bridge could look like, but Mercer reminded everyone that they didn’t have to make any design decisions at this point. They just need to let ODOT know that they want to move forward with the project.

“If you don’t go for the grant they will just do the cheapest enhancements possible,” Baker said. “You might as well try to make it look as good as you can.”

Baker, who writes grants and works with the Roscoe Village Foundation, also was at the meeting to ask the city to consider using some of its possibly available grant money to help the village with its sidewalk and lighting revitalization project. He said the project is ready to go and can be completed in under a year. There also is the possibility that grants could be found to cover the balance of the project so the city wouldn’t have to pay anything. They also could just do the project up to the funding of the grant.

The city administrators were provided with copies of Baker’s presentation on the project and how further enhancements to the Roscoe Village area could tie it to the city and Clary Gardens and help increase tourism and economic development in our area.

Another organization seeking the city’s backing is Kno-Ho-Ko-Ashland who wants to apply for funding to remodel its Heritage Apartments. There would be no cost to the city; they just want a resolution and letter of support to help them with their grant.

The housing committee plans to review their request and then report back to council.

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Category: Government

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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