Lima Council approves grant projects, seeks OPWC funding

By Craig Kelly -

LIMA — A plethora of grant applications and contracts for improving city infrastructure, housing and community development were on the agenda for Lima City Council during its Monday meeting, with all of them receiving approval.

The council voted to approve five Community Development Block Grant and five HOME funded contracts for such projects as constructing new senior rental housing, down payment assistance, and senior and youth health and wellness, with the grant year to begin in October. According to Community Development Director Susan Crotty, with declining federal allocations for these grants, it is important to put what funds the city receives to use.

“Funding has been declining over the years,” she said. “We are dependent on the federal government to make these funds available. We don’t have any information yet on what funding will be available for our plan year 2018, so we’re anxious to hear what the federal government will do as far as that’s concerned.”

The council also approved an ordinance to request Issue 1 funds from the Ohio Public Works Commission to fund a variety of projects, including $1.1 million in street paving, installing a traffic signal at the intersection of Elm Street and Central Avenue, creating a pedestrian connector at Sugar Street allowing people to cross over an abandoned rail line from Fairview Avenue to Michael Avenue near Cook Park, improvements at Wayne and High Streets, and adjusting the curvature of the road where Jackson Street merges into Findlay Road.

“We always have more applications than we do funds, and we don’t expect all of them to be funded,” Public Works Director Howard Elstro said. “We’d like to see if we could negotiate some match money for” these projects.

Lima is part of the OPWC District 13 funding area, which includes all of Allen, Auglaize, Putnam, Van Wert, Mercer, Hancock, Shelby and Logan counties. All Issue 1 grant applications must be submitted by Monday, with counties and communities learning of the commission’s funding decisions typically by the last week of November, according to Elstro.

By Craig Kelly

Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.

Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.

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