Lewisburg eyes water tower repair


LEWISBURG — The Village of Lewisburg will likely see repairs to its water tower this fall, it was revealed at the May 19 village council meeting. Repairs, estimated at $50,000 by several area companies specializing in water tower work, will be minor but necessary.

“There’s a pipe that goes up in the center of the water tower, the fill pipe, and it needs to be repaired,” said village manager Jeff Sewert. “It’s been in there 20 years, and we basically just need to update it a little and then repaint it.”

The timeline for the repair includes an open bidding process and village council approvals, leading to an expected September service date. The Environmental Protection Agency will likely be a partner in the effort.

“We’ll probably be borrowing the funds for the project from the EPA,” Sewert said. “They have a loan program for maintenance of water towers, water lines, water plants, that sort of thing, so they’ll probably be the avenue we go through for financing.

At the May 19 meeting, the board also discussed receipt of a letter from Preble County Commissioners accepting the village’s application for a Community Development Block Grant which would provide $300,000 for updates to the central commerce district. The application will now go to the state level for final consideration.

“It’s federal money that comes down to the county,” Sewert said, “and each township and village can apply. We applied for this, which falls under the neighborhood/downtown revitalization category. We got it through the county, which was the first step, and the updated application goes through the state. We’ll likely be competing against 10 or 15 other towns, some of which will be larger, but it’s worth it to try.”

If the funds are granted to Lewisburg, the village itself and some business owners would need to provide some matching funds. The money could then be used for things ranging from electrical repairs to new roofs in projects toward the revitalization of the downtown area.

Village council also discussed the ongoing destruction of trees in the area due to the emerald ash borer epidemic. Many trees have been marked for removal in an effort to take preemptive action and clear way for the stream bank project launching in late summer. Trees will also be removed in the park, and a tree expert may be brought in to discuss where to plant replacement trees. Council is exploring the availability of possible government grant funds to assist in fighting the ash borer issue and rebuilding.

Village applies for downtown revitalization grant, addresses ongoing ash borer issue

By Duante Beddingfield

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Reach Duante Beddingfield at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @duanteb_RH.

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