LEWISBURG — It appears the Village of Lewisburg will get to spend all of its FY15 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding, $30,000 they were in danger of losing due to a lack of communication with the Preble County Commissioners’ office, according to county officials.
According to Clerk Connie Crowell emails have starting coming in, signifying that the village is spending the money and fulfilling their obligation to the commissioners’ office.
It was during a commissioners’ meeting on Wednesday, July 19, that Administrative Assistant Kim Keller informed the board that there was a deadline fast approaching for the FY15 Lewisburg CDBG project and that she had heard no response from either Lewisburg Village Administrator Jeff Sewert or Grants and Funding Specialist Susan Laux.
The commissioners’ office was simply waiting for quotes from the village so they could spend the money on behalf of the village.
Commissioner Rodney Creech recommended reaching out to Lewisburg Mayor Patrick Putnam and Commissioner Chris Day recommended sending a letter. The letter was phrased in such a way that the only response required was if the village decided not to pursue the grant.
The commissioners asked the village to write a letter back stating that they were not interested in the grant, so the board’s office could work to close the grant out.
During a meeting on Wednesday, July 26, Commissioner Creech said he had not yet heard from Mayor Putnam. He added, “I have talked to one of the council members and they were supposed to run with it.”
A different story was shared during the meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 2.
The commissioners approved an expenditure for Lewisburg’s Downtown Revitalization project.
“Are they going to be able to get everything completed?” Day asked.
Crowell responded, “We’re hoping.”
At press time, Crowell added, they have not had any response from Sewert or Mayor Putnam, but that the letter they originally sent did not require any response. However, it was around the time they sent out the letter that emails with quotes starting coming into the Commission office.
“The grant money is going to be spent. There was no communication, nothing sent to this office when all this came about,” Crowell said. “We have now received emails requesting things to be purchased for that $30,000. We started getting emails from their engineer wanting things purchased. The $30,000 is being depleted. We keep getting emails from the engineer and their employees.
“The letter is written in such a way that we expected a response if the village didn’t think they were going to be able to use the $30,000 and we have not received a response to the letter.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH