County prepares for grant proposals

Communities assess what needs done in the county

By Michael Williamson -

Over the next several weeks, Madison County village and city officials will be taking a look at what future projects could benefit their communities.

A public hearing was held at the county commissioners meeting on Monday to discuss the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program and strategies the county can take on to best make use of federal money allocated to Madison County.

“In the 2016 grant, we received about $120,000 and my guess would be the allocation would be between $180,000 to $190,000,” said Whitaker Wright, a consultant with Community Development Consultants of Ohio.

The grant addresses locally identified needs that are eligible CDBG activities and areas qualify by being categorized as Low-and-Moderate-Income (LMI) communities.

“There are a lot of areas that probably need to be surveyed,” Wright said in reference to establishing which communities would qualify. “We have to start looking at what sorts of projects we want funded.”

There are three main competitive grants available: a Neighborhood Revitalization of up to $500,000, Downtown Revitalization up to $300,000 and a Critical Infrastructure grant up to $300,000 that could include bridge repair and replacement, water line improvement for fire protection, storm sewer or major street reconstruction.

The grants cover a variety of areas from water, drainage and sewer to parks and community centers to parking and fire facilities. All city and village officials will be working on project proposals that will be turned in to Wright by April 15.

Also at the commissioners meeting Monday, county engineer Bryan Dhume accepted two bids for the 2018 Madison County Sign Upgrade Project. Dhume is looking to replace various street and road signs and posts around the county.

“I’ve got two federal aid grants that are covering 80 percent of the cost, at $50,000 each,” Dhume said.

The two bids were from Osburn Associates for $86,486.13 and MD Solutions for $81,606.22. Dhume said the initial estimate was for well over $100,000 so the bids would help cover the remainder. He added he would review the bids and make a recommendation to the commissioners at the next meeting, Monday, March 19.

Dhume also requested that the commissioners begin the process of holding public hearings on enacting a vehicle registration permissive tax. The increase would provide revenue that would go toward road repairs.

“Last year, as part of House Bill 26 — which was the budget bill — one thing that came out of that was an additional $5 permissive license tax that counties could enact on those vehicles that are registered in the county,” Dhume said. “If it was enacted, it would generate approximately $240,000 to the office.”

The tax increase can be enacted through the commissioners by resolution but must go through two public hearings before being voted on. If the tax gets enacted prior to June, the county can start collecting as early as January of 2019.

Dhume recommended the two hearing dates be scheduled for May 14 and May 21 at 11 a.m. The last time a measure similar to this had been enacted was in 2006 when tax on gas was adjusted to generate revenue.

Communities assess what needs done in the county

By Michael Williamson

Reach Michael Williamson at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619.

Reach Michael Williamson at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619.