Grant funding for wastewater improvements taking shape

Staff Report

January 31, 2014

GALLIPOLIS — A second public hearing in regard to the City of Gallipolis’ proposed application for grant funding to help improve the aging Water Pollution Control Facility will be held on Tuesday at the Gallipolis Municipal Building.

The hearing, that will begin at 6:30 p.m. prior to a regularly scheduled Gallipolis City Commission meeting, will give citizens an opportunity to review and comment on the city’s proposed application to the Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA) for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding under the Residential Public Infrastructure Grant (RPIG) Program.

On Jan. 7, the city conducted its first public hearing to inform citizens about Community Development Block Grants, how they may be used, what activities are eligible and other important program requirements.

CDBG funds are federally funded grants administered by the state of Ohio, and, according to Gallipolis City Manager Randy Finney, Gallipolis is eligible for up to $500,000 in RPIG funding, providing the city meets applicable requirements.

CDBG monies can fund a broad range of activities, including: economic development projects, streets, water supply, drainage and sanitary sewer improvements, park acquisition and improvements, demolition of unsafe structures, rehabilitation of housing and neighborhood facilities. The activities must be designed to primarily benefit low- and moderate-income persons, aid in the prevention or elimination of slums and blight or meet an urgent need of the community. Thus, the city’s application under the RPIG program for a much-needed Water Pollution Control Facility Improvements Project based on both citizen input and local officials’ assessment of the city’s needs.

“The purpose of this application is to gain funding for the upgrade of our Gallipolis Wastewater Treatment Plant,” Gallipolis City Manager Randy Finney stated. “The plant is 25 years old, and it is becoming difficult to find replacement parts. This upgrade will allow us to modernize the facility for the benefit of our residents.”

The Residential Public Infrastructure Grant Program creates safe and sanitary living environment for Ohio citizens, through the provision of safe and reliable drinking water and proper disposal of sanitary waste.

The program funds projects which provide water and/or sanitary sewer service to primarily residential users (minimum 60 percent of total users). Eligible on-site improvements include service laterals, septic tanks and well abandonment, and Community Development Block Grant-eligible-related fees. Applications where the primary objective is the funding of on-site improvements will not be considered for funding period.

Eligible applicants include non-entitlement counties, cities and villages. Counties must apply on behalf of unincorporated areas and villages that do not have a demonstrated capacity to operate a public water or wastewater system.

During this second public hearing on Feb. 4 at the municipal building located at 333 Third Avenue, citizens are encouraged to attend and to express their views and comment on the proposed activity related to the improvement project before the city submits its application to the ODSA.

For further information on this project, contact the Gallipolis City Manager’s Office at (740) 446-2489.