EATON — The Preble County Board of Commissioners continues to work on the Glenwood sewer project and is pursuing money to make it affordable.
During a meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 12, the board decided to move forward with the Army Corps of Engineer funds for design purposes.
Kurtis Strickland with Ohio Rural Community Assistance Program (RCAP) submitted an application with the Army Corps of Engineers for the project sometime in the past. Preble County has been awarded a Section 594 Grant in the amount of approximately $1.052 million.
Those funds, minus an administrative fee, can be used for design and construction. However, the Army Corps of Engineers has been pressuring the Board of Commissioners on providing them an answer on whether they were moving forward with the grant money, according to county officials.
Recently, Commission President Chris Day sat through a conference call with Army Corps of Engineers representatives, Strickland, and Commission Administrative Assistant Julie Miller.
“The short of it is, if we don’t use this money we probably won’t have access to it in the future. After talking through it, we can use it for the study and design upfront and roll it over to construction,” Day said.
“The biggest thing is, we need to know if we are going to turn that money back to the Army Corps. If not, we need to get some paperwork signed and back to them so they can start the process and start using it for design/construction.”
“Even if we’re not a hundred percent sure of what we’re doing now, if we go ahead with construction and design, this can be spread out two or three years. It doesn’t all have to be used within one year, which makes it much more feasible to use that money. That gives us time,” Miller said.
Commissioner Rodney Creech asked, what if they don’t use any money within a year? Miller responded, they can use this money to pay CDM Smith which is a current expense.
According to Miller, if the commissioners get to a point where a design is complete and they cannot move any further, money from the Army Corps of Engineers can be returned to them. Not all of the money has to be spent. The county can use part of that money, until they cannot move any further with the project.
The grant is a reimbursement grant. So the county must spend the money before they can get any back from the Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps will reimburse 75 percent, but they also take an administrative fee.
To move forward, the Army Corps of Engineers must be sent current project plans. However, CDM Smith is working on those documents and have not been responding to any correspondence with any of the involved parties. Miller was finally able to get a hold of the office and Fred Smith promised to provide what he had completed by Friday of that week.
The board set up a conference call with CDM Smith for later in the day.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH