OPWC awards grant

While Dominion Gas has started replacing natural gas lines and laterals, Wapakoneta administrators received official notice the city was awarded $330,028 for the East Benton Street reconstruction project.

The Ohio Public Works Commission notified the city of the award late last week.

“This grant is very important to the city since it is about half or a little less than the total cost of the project and it will help out the city and her residents by helping the city to pay for the project,” Safety-Service Director Bill Rains said of the $779,680 project to be constructed by Shinn Brothers, of Celina. “This allows us to get another street redone — full-depth reconstruction with replacement of new sanitary, stormwater and water lines as well as new street lighting — and we get the project done for about 50 cents on the dollars so that is a great deal for the city.”

The city will pay approximately $450,000 for the project after receiving $330,028 through the state grant. Residents between Water Street and the CSX railroad crossing — the length of the reconstruction project — are to be assessed for curbs, gutters and sidewalks.

The engineer’s estimate for the East Benton Street reconstruction project was $900,000.

The East Benton Street reconstruction project includes improving and replacing water, sanitary and stormwater lines as well as replacing sidewalks, curbs and gutters, driveways and alley approaches as sell as a new asphalt surface and street lighting. Construction from Water Street to the CSX railroad tracks is set to begin yet this month and is expected to be completed by Sept. 30.

Engineering Department Superintendent Mary Ruck said the city can draw down the grant money throughout the project or have the state pay the city the entire amount at the end of the project. She plans to discuss the payment plan with Mayor Rodney Metz, Auditor Gail Walter and Rains.

The grant can be applied to any of the construction costs, but it cannot be used to pay for engineering of the project.

Ruck announced she will issue a detour by the end of this week or early next week for motorists to use during the street’s reconstruction.

The Ohio Public Works Commission provides grants and loans for local governments to build and maintain their infrastructure through the State Capital Improvement (SCIP) and the Local Transportation Improvement (LTIP) programs. Roads, bridges, culverts, water supply, wastewater systems, storm water collection and solid waste facilities are eligible for assistance.

Local governments apply for funding through one of the 19 District Public Works Integrating Committees in Ohio.

At today’s Wapakoneta City Council meeting, councilors will decide on the adoption of an ordinance to execute a construction agreement for the Safe Routes to School program as well as on an ordinance to advertise for bids and execute a construction contract for statewide surface water improvement funds from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and an ordinance to update its codified ordinances.

An ordinance establishing a zoning classification for the former Centennial Elementary property now owned by the city is set to receive its second reading.

An ordinance being brought forward for its first reading would vacate a section of Kolter Street and an alley which runs perpendicular to Kolter Street.