Botkins council talks grants

By Alexandra Newman -

BOTKINS – The Botkins Village Council met Tuesday night to discuss several grants they will soon be applying for.

Edgewood Street is in desperate need of being completely re-done. The street was never built with a proper base. When the developer put it in, they didn’t put stone underneath it, they didn’t compact it, said Village Administrator Ryan Piche. All that is there is dirt, a thin layer of asphalt then concrete.

He said the thought is while they’re under there they might as well replace the storm drainage and water line systems because they were planning to spend 40 to 50 thousand dollars on water issues on that street anyways.

The last time they looked at re-doing the street was in 2010. They had a grant application into The Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC), but the old village administrator decided they might be able to get funding from another place and the council decided to ask them to pull that application and did not submit it at that time.

“My thought is that as we are preparing for 2016 budget, then we need to get the grant application out there now because they’re due in October and if we’re accepted we won’t receive the funding till July of 2016,” Piche said.

The estimated cost, taken from the 2010 estimate, inflation and increase in supply cost, would be close to $430,000

Piche said that amount looks scary, but in reality they might be able to get 50 percent of that covered by the grant from OPWC. The other half would come from a loan that would be paid on each year.

He said it’d be manageable and something they could afford. He said the chances of getting the grant and loan are strong if they balance out their needs. The lower percentage they ask for the more likely they are to get it, so that’s why 50 percent was suggested.

Council Member Josh Meyer said he thought this was a good way to spend tax-payer dollars.

They are going to have to play a bit of a guessing game because they will have to budget for it before they know if they’re going to receive the money from OPWC or not.

Each time they submit an application to OPWC, council will have to pass an ordinance. So in the coming weeks, Piche will finish up the application and work on an ordinance to present to council.

The council is looking at getting the tennis courts out at the park re-done as well. The money will come partly from a private donor, partly from the city and hopefully partly from the Louise Sheets Fund. They will start to put an application together for that as well.

At the last council meeting Piche announced that they are finished tearing out the tennis courts next to the pool. After much discussion the council decided it would be best to incorporate that space into the pool. They would also apply to get Louise Sheets money to help transform the space.

The Botkins Fire Department will also be applying for Louise Sheets money for new ropes. They needed the councils permission to move forward with this application and the council granted it.

The council also gave permission to the fire department to put together all the junior firefighter information and present it back to them once they are ready to finalize the program.

Council Member Lance Symonds informed the council that Lucas Greve will be retiring from the fire department on Aug. 31.

Council will hold two public hearings about energy aggregation before their next council meetings. Members of the community are asked to come to the city building at 6:45 p.m. on Sept. 8 or Oct. 6 to voice their opinions and ask questions about the issue on the upcoming November ballot.

By Alexandra Newman

Reach this writer at 937-538-4825; follow on Twitter @SDNAlexandraN

Reach this writer at 937-538-4825; follow on Twitter @SDNAlexandraN