Communities to seek block grants

New Carlisle, Village of Catawba and Springfield Twp. vie for $239K.

New Carlisle could get the largest share of the funds, applying for $86,700 in Community Development Block Grant money for a drainage improvement project that involves installing approximately 850 feet of curb and gutter and 475 feet of pavement along Prentice Drive. New Carlisle must pay more than $21,100 in matching funds.

“It’s something we would not be able to afford without this grant,” said Lowell McGlothin, mayor of New Carlisle. “We’re trying our best to get our streets up to par. We recently passed a 2-mill levy to help with that. And (this grant) will help us tremendously in that area.”

Clark County commissioners on Tuesday agreed to seek the $239,000 for the improvement projects during a public hearing on the county’s CDBG applications.

The funds the county will apply for this year are nearly 13 percent less than the $274,000 officials received in 2011 and more than 20 percent less than the $299,000 received in 2010.

Other projects seeking funding include improvements to more than 6,500 feet of roadway in the Limecrest and Hillcrest subdivision that includes Elk, Lyle, Kinnane, Neosha and Linden avenues in Springfield Twp.

Springfield Twp. officials are seeking $57,500 in CDBG funding for the repairs and resurfacing project. The township will provide an equal amount in matching funds for the project.

Springfield Twp. Administrator Jeff Briner said the township used to pay about 25 percent in matching funds for CDBG improvement projects, but said as cuts in the program mount, local officials are paying more.

“We’re not complaining. Whatever we can get, we’re happy,” Briner said.

Briner added that officials have received CDBG funding for the last six years, and the funds are critical to the township as the budget for road improvements is now $200,000.

“We’ve gone from doing four to five miles (of improvements) per year to one mile per year,” Briner said.

Catawba could get $47,000 for a drainage improvement project along East Pleasant, South School, East South and Lorraine streets. The village must provide about $3,000 in matching funds.

Madision Twp., Enon and Tremont City officials had hoped to apply for CDBG funding, but became ineligible because officials were unable get enough residents to participate in income surveys, David Fleck, development planner for the Clark County Community Development told commissioners Tuesday.

Fleck said CDBG funding is critical to communities in the county.

“CDBG funds major infrastructure projects. It’s the only way some of these smaller communities can afford that,” Fleck said.

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