Eaton applies for grant funding

By Kelsey Kimbler -

EATON — The City of Eaton applied for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Downtown Revitalization Grant on March 2, according to Assistant City Manager Joseph Ferriell. During a council meeting on Monday, March 19, Ferriell gave council a “brief overview” of what the office has been working on.

If the City of Eaton receives this grant, it will mean roughly $300,000 will be funneled into downtown Eaton to help improve businesses and buildings.

Applicable projects include placement of signage to identify public parking areas, streetscape items, i.e. benches and trash receptacles, improvements to approximately 800 square feet of sidewalk, decorative pavers which have become uneven and are a tripping hazard, and assistance to building owners to make improvements to the building facades and to correct code violations.

The national objective is the elimination of slum and blight.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $564,000, with a CDBG request of $300,000, $58,000 in city funds, $1,500 in city-in-kind, and $204,000 in business owner contributions.

“There are 56 businesses downtown who are interested in this. Our application is at thecounty level now,” Ferriell said. “The county will evaluate it and if they send it to the state that will be the beginning of June. We should know by the end of summer whether we are going to get this grant.”

In other business, Ferriell reported, on Monday, March 5, they sat in on discussions regarding the Safe Routes to School grant.

“This is basically to encourage kids K-8 to ride or walk to school. This started back in 2015 with Preble Trails. We got together with them and the schools and came up with a plan, which was developed in October of 2016. We worked with an engineering group to develop the areas we want to highlight,” he said.

“Again, we should know by the end of summer whether we will receive this grant.”

They also applied for the small cities grant, which they have applied for in the past.

The office hasn’t just been applying for grants, as they also worked on theconcession stand at the girls’ DP&L Field. It was completed with the help of city crews, the Preble County Engineer’s Office, county crews, and Pro-Grade. Ferriell’s office also bid out a water tower project in January of 2018. The bid came in for $486,000 and work will start around Aug. 1.

Ferriell added, “We did the Nation Avenue project in 2017. It was roughly 1,400 feet of complete reconstruction of sidewalk. We started that in August and it took two months. We worked very well with the Sheriff’s Department during the Pork Festival, I don’t think there were any issues at all,” he said, and then showed the council pictures of the project.

“Another project we did was the tank project, when we helped bring back the tank. We built the pad out there and had it done in two weeks. We had a day-long celebration on Saturday, Sept. 23, with a parade and local leaders. The tank is just north of the entrance to Fort St. Clair.”

Council approved a resolution accepting the 2017 Community Reinvestment Area Annual Report. The agreement is between the City of Eaton and Timken Corporation, dated Dec. 21, 2016. Timken received 10 years and a 50 percent real estate tax exemption (county, city, township) on the improved value of the underlying real estate in exchange for meeting multiple commitments under the agreement.

The two principal commitments made by Timken included:

•They shall incur a total investment of $8,980,000 with a permissible deviation of plus or minus 10 percent.

•They shall also create the equivalent of 11-15 full-time, permanent job opportunities, within a time period not exceeding 48 months after the commencement of construction. Thereafter, Timken shall use and continue to use its best efforts to retain 85 existing full-time equivalent jobs.

The total investment of $8,980,000 was completed before Dec. 31, 2017. As of that same date, Timken has been hiring and continues to hire the equivalent number of people to meet the requirement.

The City of Eaton has determined the need for an urban paving project, for Fiscal Year 2019. The project will pave U.S. 35, from the northern corporation limit to East Avenue and on Ohio 732, from the southern corporation limit to U.S. 127. The city will enter into an LPA Federal ODOT Let project agreement, if applicable, as well as any other agreements necessary to develop and construct the project.

In other news, council approved:

•A resolution to continue the YMCA of Greater Dayton’s (Preble County YMCA) management of the Main Street Aquatic Center for the 2018 season.

•A resolution authorizing thecity manager to execute a contract for Boom-n-Blast, set for Sunday, June 24, with RKM Fireworks Company.

•The purchase of one new Grasshopper mower from Steinke Tractor Sales, Inc. in the total net purchase amount of $8,000.

•The purchase of one new 72” Vel Plus 37 HP Briggs Bloc mower in the total purchase amount of $11,801 from Dunkelberger Lawn and Garden Inc.

•The purchase of a 2018 GMC Sierra 3500 cab and chassis, 4×4, diesel truck from Larkin Cobb Chevrolet Buick GMC in the total purchase price of $41,336.

•The purchase of a 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD from Larkin Cobb Chevrolet Buick GMC in a total net purchase amount of $29,173.50.

The next Eaton City Council meeting will be held on Monday, April 16, at 6 p.m. in the council chambers.

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