NP seeking public input on park project

By Kelsey Kimbler -

NEW PARIS — The Village of New Paris will be applying for the Land and Water Conservation Fund grant program through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). The application is due on Nov. 15. If awarded, the village will receive money equal to a match provided, with a max of $500,000.

During a village council meeting on Monday, Oct. 1, the matching funds amount was discussed.

Originally, a match of $200,000 was proposed, money the village has received through the Capital Bill. This would mean the village had $400,000 at its disposal to eliminate the asbestos, demolish the existing building, and install the proposed splash park.

Susan Laux with Mote & Associates explained, if the village can provide a larger max, it can request more money. If approved for the grant, the village actually has until June of 2020 to raise the matching funds.

If those funds cannot be raised in time, the village would simply spend up to whatever funds it did have matched, and return the additional funds from the state.

“We have been holding onto some state tax money we have that is finally able to be spent. We have been holding it for this purpose, to see if we can match some funds to help get that cleaned up out there. I believe it is [more than] $34,000,” Mayor Kathy Smallwood said.

“We want to take time, right now, to thank the Jefferson Alumni Association. They gave us the remainder of their treasury when they disbanded. It was almost $2,956.57. That money can also be added to this. That brings us close to $38,000. It is my opinion that the community can raise the remainder ourselves. That would give us half a million dollars, which would be a lot closer to getting this project complete.”

Council approved putting $250,000 up as the matching funds for the grant through ODNR.

Council also discussed hosting planning meetings for the park, with the community. This effort would earn the village more points towards being awarded the grant.

Council will be hosting a public forum on Monday, Nov. 5 from 6-7 p.m. at the Municipal Building. Afterward, the village council will transition into the regular council meeting.

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