Eaton applying for grants

By Kelsey Kimbler -

EATON — The City of Eaton will be applying for two different grants in hopes of making improvements for the community. During a meeting on Monday, Feb. 19, council authorized City Manager Brad Collins to apply for a Safe Routes to School grant and for a Community Development Black Grant (CDBG) for Downtown Revitalization funds.

The State of Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) administers monies for Safe Routes to School projects and the City of Eaton is seeking financial assistance for an eligible project. Collins explained he has been working with Eaton Community Schools and ODOT for “a while” to develop a Safe Routes for School Travel Plan. The monies available for ODOT may assist the city for up to $400,000 of infrastructure improvements.

“At this time, we would like to submit for some concrete work, road, sidewalk, maybe some lighting, and signage,” Collins said. “This is about a three year pipeline, so if we are fortunate enough to get funded this year, the money would not be distributed for another three years for the ODOT project.”

Mayor Gary Wagner asked if the Safe Routes were designated streets and sidewalks. Collins explained, the purpose of Safe Routes to School is to encourage and enable students in grades K-8 to walk or ride their bicycles to schools.

The application is due in March, applicants are notified in May, and the slated construction year is Fiscal Year 2022 (Oct. 1, 2021 to Sept. 30, 2022). According to ODOT, designed projects may be constructed sooner if funds become available.

Collins will also be applying for a CDBG grant to use Downtown Revitalization Funds. These funds are available through the office of the Preble County Commissioners.

“The Downtown Revitalization Grant is available through the State of Ohio and we can receive up to $300,000. It is the same program that Lewisburg is currently using. The grant can be used for exterior and interior rehab,” Collins said. “The State will require that we have a contribution from the city in order to be eligible; 50 percent of the project costs would be covered by the grant funds, 10 percent would be funded through the city match, and the remaining 40 percent would be funded by the property owner.”

The application is due to the Preble County Commission office by March 2. If approved at the county level then the application would move forward to the state for approval by June. Project work would be done in 2019 and 2020. At this time, there are roughly 18 interested property owners, according to city staff.

There is one grant application allowed per county and for the State of Ohio there is only five to six awarded. Collins explained a recent change is that the state only likes to have one grant application open at a time and, technically, Lewisburg’s application is still open. The commission staff is reaching out to the state to see if Eaton’s application will be allowed. Preble County has only received this grant once and that is being used for Lewisburg’s Downtown Revitalization project.

Council approved a resolution authorizing the disposal of property no longer needed for municipal purposes. The Emergency Medical Services Division has a 2007 Horton medic unit that has recently been replaced and will no longer be of service to the operation. Council approved the disposal of that equipment by listing it for sale on internet auction at a minimum selling price of $1,000.

Council approved a resolution that authorizes the city manager to execute the purchase of a vehicle for the Police Division from the State Cooperative Purchasing program. EPD has budgeted for this new vehicle and their old unmarked 2004 Chevrolet Impala is failing mechanically and is no longer needed in the fleet.

The old vehicle is being offered as a trade-in. The new vehicle will be a Ford Utility Interceptor from Lebanon Ford in the total purchase amount of $27,310. The trade-in is being accepted at $500, making the total net amount $26,810.

Council held the second reading and vote of an ordinance levying assessments for sidewalks, curbs, and gutters along Nation Avenue.

By a resolution adopted on April 17, 2017, council declared the necessity of construction sidewalks, curbs, and gutters along Nation Avenue by the owners of the lots and lands abutting thereon. The construction of the improvements have been completed by the City and the total costs of said construction has been ascertained and reported to council. A list of estimated assessments has been prepared and filed in the office of the clerk.

Notice was published for three consecutive weeks stating that such list of estimated assessments has been made and was on file for inspection and examination. Any person who objected to an assessment was allowed to file the objection within the specified time and no objections were received. Thus, the list, aggregating $15,777.44, was adopted and affirmed.

The total assessment against each lot and parcel of land is payable in cash to the Finance Director within 30 days after the effective date of this ordinance.

In other business:

•Council approved an ordinance to make appropriations for current year expenses and other expenditures of the City of Eaton during the fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2018.

•Mayor Wagner thanked Robert and Ruth Miller for their donation to purchase the flagpole and lighting at the tank display.

•Mayor Wagner appointed David Daily and Bradley Collins as member representatives to the Housing Council.

•The Fire and EMS report for January shows a combined response of 249 calls; 188 EMS responses, including 17 second Medic responses; and 61 fire/rescue responses, including 11 general alarms. The Department received mutual aid six times and provided mutual aid three times. The department only had one heroin overdose response (where Narcan was utilized) in January.

The City of Eaton’s next council meeting will be held on Monday, March 19, at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers at the Eaton City Building, located at 328 North Maple Street.

By Kelsey Kimbler

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH