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County officials prepare grant applications

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ELYRIA — County commissioners on Wednesday approved recommendations for the Community Development Block Grant.

County Development Department Director Donald Romancak presented the three recommended municipalities to the commissioners: Sheffield Lake, Sheffield Township and Oberlin.

The grant, operating on a two-year cycle, is expected to provide $507,000, which Romancak said is $30,000 more than in 2017. Romancak said the three were chosen from nine requests for grant money.

Sheffield Lake will receive about $183,970 for a water line and street improvement project on Community Road. The amount will help with the total cost of about $358,970.

Sheffield Township will receive $125,000 to help with the $175,000 cost for the street improvement project for Clifton Avenue.

Oberlin’s Spring Street improvement project will receive about $61,530 toward the total cost of $185,595.

In addition to the three projects, Romancak said 15 percent of the grant will be used for public service projects. The Meals on Wheels program from the Neighborhood Alliance in Lorain is usually chosen to receive some of these funds; it is expected to get $85,500 from the grant. The remaining money will help fund the continuation of the fair housing program’s service and the CDBG projects by Lorain County Community Development Department.

Romancak said with commissioners’ approval, his department will finalize the plan and submit the application to Columbus by June 14. The recipients probably won’t be able to spend the grant money until next year.

Commissioners also approved three projects for the competitive “set-aside” grants also under the CDBG Community Development Allocation program. The projects will compete among other applicants to receive $650,000. The projects include the rehabilitation and improvement to the fire station in the Wellington under the “Critical Infrastructure Set-Aside” grant and the construction of a new parking lot as well as Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant improvements to the North Park Community Center in the Grafton, both under the “Downtown Revitalization Set-Aside” grant.

The CDBG grants only need to be submitted for the project applicants to receive funding, but Romancak said the set-aside grants are still in the air. The announcement is still relevant, he said, to show the county’s efforts.

“I think the public knowing that the board of commissioners and local communities are turning over every stone to make sure that every resources is being attempted to be thrown to the county,”

The set-aside grants and CDBG grants are expected to be announced in August.

Contact Bruce Walton at (440) 329-7123 or bwalton@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Facebook @BWalton440 or Twitter @BruceWalton.
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