MINSTER – The first round of grant applications had 15 Minster businesses receive a total of $49,000 in COVID-19 business relief funds, it was announced at the Oct. 6 Minster Council meeting.
In other news, long-time village councilman Rick Schwartz announced his retirement from council.
In August, Village Administrator Don Harrod said the village had more than $70,000 of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act money not needed by the village. The council agreed it could be used to help small businesses in town affected by COVID-19.
The criteria for determining which businesses could receive aid included having fewer than 50 employees, being up to date with utility and tax bills, having less than $2 million in income and having been in business in the village for at least one year.
Those receiving $4,000 each were Community Lanes, Wooden Shoe Inn, Bud’s Pizza, Minster Eagles, Just Breathe Health and Wellness, The Looking Glass Salon, Emmy’s Bridal, Midnet Media, and 2158 Home Corporation. Tasty Treat received a $3,000 grant. Those businesses receiving $2,000 included Crescent Motel, Donauer’s Barber Shop, Hair-itage Shoppe, Meiring Insurance, and Halls of Hanover.
Harrod said another round of grant applications will go out next week and be due back Oct. 19. The criteria has changed, with businesses allowed up to 100 employees and an income of less than $3 million. Harrod said the village has until Nov. 20 to spend down the funding, otherwise it must be returned to the state of Ohio.
In other news, long-time councilman Rick Schwartz announced that at the end of the year he would retire from Minster Council. Schwartz has served for 35 years. His term was set to expire on Dec. 31, 2021, so council will advertise for applicants for the rest of the unfilled term. Council will have 30 days after Dec. 31 to name a replacement. If not able to agree, Village Mayor Dennis Kitzmiller will decide the new council member.
Council approved the adding of a speed bump in the alley at the post office by village crews and to seek bids for the poured in place rubber surface for the new playground equipment.
The council approved a motion to renew a request to received the $5 permissive license fee funds from Auglaize County. The approximately $20,000 received annually is used for street resurfacing.
Council also approved a motion to pay invoices over $3,000, most of which involved the building of the new electrical substation. It approved receipts of $1,900,890.93 and invoices of $1,124,973.92.
Approved was a second reading of an ordinance authorizing a contract for income tax collection services with the city of St. Marys, the first reading of an ordinance amending the village of Minster construction standards and design criteria to conform with modern standards and the first reading of an ordinance authorizing the renewal of a mutual aid contract with the Loramie Fire District.
In his report to council, Harrod said village crews finished the installation of the new playground equipment at the Four Seasons Park. In addition, a 12-inch curb has been poured around the sides of the playground area, so a rubber surface material can be installed.
He said the village received word from Anthem that the village’s health insurance renewal for next year came in at 3% increase. He said the village is looking at other options to see if there are some additional savings to be obtained.
On Sept. 25, a water line at the corner of Third Street and Main Street developed a leak. Crews were able to excavate the area, locate the leak and make the necessary repairs without causing disruption to the water service in the area.
“We have received the preliminary design report on the Ohio Street elevated water storage tank replacement project from CDM and are currently reviewing the report,” Harrod said.
The village will set up a utility committee meeting to go over the report in the near future.
Electrical crews continue to work on the northwest substation project, Harrod said. All of the major structures have been set in place, and crews have begun to pull in wire to the structures. Fencing should arrive this week. Crews then will begin to pull in control wire to the facilities.
Finally, work continues to proceed on the solar field. Crews are installing the racking and soon will install the panels. Village crews have completed their part of the project.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.