CDBG funds wanted

Waynesfield Village Administrator Fred Rowe and Fanning-Howey and Associates adviser Craig Mescher met with the Auglaize County commissioners Tuesday to discuss the possibility of funding neighborhood revitalization programs in Waynesfield with Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds that the county will receive later this year.

Mescher told the commissioners he understands the commissioners cannot commit to an amount he said that knowing if funding will be made available to the village would be a determining factor to move forward with more planning and public meetings.

“We don’t want to make them pay out more than they would have to if it wasn’t a possibility,” Mescher said. “There wouldn’t be a need to schedule more public meetings and to continue working on planning.”

Commissioner Doug Spencer said the commissioners will schedule a meeting with Rowe, Mescher, and Diane Gunther, of Poggemeyer Design Group, who handles the CDBG projects for the commissioners and distribution of the funds.

“I have a feeling we will be able to help in some way,” Spencer said. “We just don’t know how much  at this point.”

Another possible neighborhood revitalization program grant could qualify the village for as much as $300,000, and surveys on projects were handed out to residents to what qualifying projects they may like to see be done.

CDBG formula money can be used for a broad number of projects for permanent improvements to communities that qualify low to moderate income. While the county will not get notification on an exact amount until later this year, commissioners anticipate receiving between $140,000 to $180,000, with approximately $80,000 of that going to Wapakoneta and St. Marys. The rest will go to approved projects throughout the county. Cridersville and Buckland have or will be requesting money for community projects as well.

The biggest obstacle right now appears to be the timeline, which could cause the village to spend money without needing to without a tentative notice commissioners could forward the village some of the funds.

“We don’t want to push for an answer, but the sooner the better for us,” Rowe said.

Mescher said the village will likely qualify income level-wise and that a timeline of some kind of tentative acknowledgement that the village would receive money would be optimal before the next scheduled public meeting March 20. They held their first public meeting on Feb. 20.