Clay Township has battled a growing bill for the cleanup of a property that was previously deemed a public nuisance, and a little more help came on Wednesday as commissioners approved the township’s application for additional grant money.
The Highland County Board of Commissioners assisted the township late last year with grant money through the county’s solid waste district. But, as previously reported, what started as a cleanup of more than 1,500 tires turned into much more with the amount of trash that was also discovered on the property.
Clay Township’s most recent application to the county was also for recycling grant dollars through the Ross Pickaway Highland Fayette Solid Waste District. A newly-adopted policy by commissioners for those annual dollars stipulates that townships can apply for up to $5,000 through the end of June, with the townships required to match what is awarded in grant money.
Clay Township’s request approved on Wednesday was for $5,000. Commission chair Shane Wilkin was absent Wednesday, but according to commissioners Jeff Duncan and Tom Horst , no other township in Highland County has yet applied for funds for qualified projects, although they still have until the end of June to do so. After that period, Clay Township can apply for additional funding if grant money still remains.
In other business, the first hearing for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding was held, with deputy clerk Nicole Oberrecht providing the overview to county village representatives present. She said that Highland County will have $99,200 to disperse, and the county would like that spread among three projects.
Those projects, she said, must benefit low to moderate income residents, eliminate slum and blight, and meet an urgent need in the community.
Oberrecht also spoke to representatives about “competitive set aside” grants available that are for projects geared toward critical infrastructure, neighborhood revitalization, or downtown revitalization.
She said Hillsboro was awarded such a grant last year for storm drains and curbing on East Street. With that project open, she said only two additional such projects can be applied for this year.
Commissioners passed a resolution awarding CTL Engineering, Inc. the project of performing environmental studies at the Leesburg Industrial Park. Having the studies completed will allow for the park to be certified with the state of Ohio, and therefore boost its visibility to potential businesses.
While meetings of the Highland County Board of Commissioners are typically held each Wednesday at 8:30 a.m., the April 13 meeting will begin at 11:30 a.m. as commissioners will be attending a meeting near Cincinnati that morning. The commission board meetings are open to the public.
Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.