MINSTER – Applications for small business relief grant will be available this fall after decisions made at the Minster Village Council meeting Tuesday night.
The Council approved a motion to use more than $70,000 of federal CARES money not needed by the village to be used to help small businesses in town affected by COVID.
Village Administrator Don Harrod told council that the village administration only needed $5,000 to $10,000 from the $86,850 received in federal funds, and that small business grants were an acceptable way to use the rest of the funding. Otherwise, any unspent money must be sent back to the federal government by the end of the year.
The requirements to qualify included having fewer than 50 employees, earning under $2 million in gross receipts and show at least a 10% decline in current income. They also must be current in their taxes. Full requirements will be posted on the village’s website. Deadline to submit applications will be Sept. 18.
Originally it was suggested that the grants could be for up to $4,000 but after further discussion, the council members thought it might be a higher amount.
The plan was to have the Community Improvement Corporation receive and sort through the applications.
In other action, the council agreed to begin the process of selling off a village-owned 16 acre woodlot from the former Berger farm. The land would be sold at no less than $19,500 per acre. Bids to buy the land would be due by Oct. 8. The top three bidders would be contacted to see if they would like to revise their bids and a final decision made shortly after.
Also, in response to a request from Burke Petroleum, council agreed to petition PUCO about making the tracks crossing 4th street exempt. Harrod explained that making a crossing exempt would mean that it was no longer necessary to come to a full stop before crossing the tracks.
Harrod said that the tracks were not being used and Councilman Tom Herkenhoff said it was unlikely that would change since the trestle that carries the tracks over a creek is unusable.
Council also agreed to the first reading of an ordinance to reduce the traffic speed from 35 to 25 mph on Seventh Street between Hamilton Street and the east corporation limit. The rest of 7th is already 25 mph. Council member Nicole Clune said that all the side streets in the village were already at 25 mph. Police Chief David Friend said he would talk to the township about placing signage that notified drivers of the upcoming speed limit.
Harrod said some residents of the Stonegate Subdivision had asked about reducing the speed at that section and with the increasing development of that area, reduced speeds would have to be implemented eventually.
In his report to Council, Harrod said the water line project on Minster-Fort Recovery Road has been completed. All the homes in that area have been tied onto the new water line. Crews from the county engineer’s office will be doing the asphalt work for the village.
Also, the Parks Department, in conjunction with the Minster Oktoberfest Committee, have planted five new maple trees in the Minster Machine Centennial Park and Oktoberfest Park. These new trees are to replace three trees that were removed in the park due to their poor condition. The department will also be replacing two of the maples along Fourth Street that are also in poor condition.
He added that Midnet Media has completed work on the village’s new economic development website, Minster Develops. This website showcases the village’s economic development efforts and highlights the properties that the village has available for economic development purposes.
In addition, he said Midnet Media is nearing the completion of the new website for the Village. We are currently working with a recreational software company called RecDesk to implement a new park and recreation scheduling program that will give us the ability to handle reservations for the baseball diamonds, shelter houses, pickleball courts, etc.
He said the new site will allow the village to manage the sale of memberships and passes at the pool and complete all insurance waivers for participants at recreational events.
The end of the 2020 pool season is approaching. Harrod said the pool will remain open for its normally scheduled hours until Aug. 24. It is hoped to work out a schedule that will allow the pool to be open until Labor Day.
Finally, Harrod and council decide that they would seek to repair and put back into service a 2010 Ford Explorer police cruiser which was damaged in an accident. Their insurance company said the vehicle’s value was $10,325 and the cost to repair it was estimated to cost $10,199. The vehicle has 70,000 miles on it.
Council approved July income tax receipts of $359,809 which totals $2,347,214.63 for the year to date. This total is $136,000 lower than at this time last year. They also approved $704,042.41 in invoices.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.