|Walbridge gets state money for street work (2-21-14)|
|Written by DEBBIE ROGERS, Sentinel Staff Writer|
|Friday, 21 February 2014 11:45|
WALBRIDGE — Just as a huge improvement project is set to start on Union Street, village council has learned that it will receive state money to fund a second wave of street repairs.
At Wednesday’s council meeting, Mayor Ed Kolanko said Walbridge has received a $262,000 Ohio Public Works Commission State Capital Improvement Grant, also known as Issue 1. The grant is a matching one, meaning the village also has to put in $262,000.
The grant also “matches” a similar one awarded to Walbridge this time last year. An OPWC grant of $209,000 was announced in February 2013 to start the Union Street project. The village also has to match that with $209,000.
The first one, which is set to begin this spring, entails repaving, updating sewers and installing new curbs on Union Street from Main to Dixon streets. Bids will be opened on Feb. 28. The first phase of the project has a Sept. 1 completion date.
The second grant, which Kolanko said was announced this week, continues the work down Union Street to Martendale Place. The second phase will wrap up in 2015.
“I think we’re pretty fortunate to get that second award,” the mayor said after the meeting. “I’m very excited that project will continue.”
Kolanko said Walbridge’s matches for the two phases will come out of savings.
“It does make sense to use our money for needed projects,” he said.
But Walbridge will be getting a windfall of sorts in a couple months.
Council approved an emergency ordinance, essentially releasing $850,000 from the bond retirement account.
Kolanko said the reason is simple: the village doesn’t have any bonds. But the process is fairly complicated.
In addition to passing the ordinance, the village must direct the finance director to file a petition in the Wood County Court of Common Pleas for approval of the transfer.
The whole process will take about 45 days, Kolanko said.
The transfer will be 65 percent to the general fund, 25 percent to the municipal services fund and 10 percent to the capital improvement fund.
“We can use that money in better ways for the village,” said Kolanko, adding that he also favored keeping a fair amount in reserves as a “rainy day fund.”
Also at the meeting, council:
• Heard the village has received a $6,635 Wood County Park District grant for park equipment.
• Heard from Al Murphy, the new president of Walbridge-Fest, which is being reactivated now that the centennial committee activities from 2013 are finished. Council approved summer festival dates of May 16-17 and Spooktacular dates of Oct. 3-4.
• Heard the safety and criminal justice committee will meet Monday at 5 p.m. in the town hall.
• Heard Kolanko say he has been selected as president of the Wood County Mayor’s Association and is on the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments Board of Trustees and finance committee.
• Heard numerous commendations for the street and police departments for snow plowing. The police chief and two officers did some plowing to give the street employees a break.
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