Meigs allocates federal grants for 2016

Michael Hart - For the Daily Sentinel

POMEROY — The destiny of more than $100,000 in Community Development Block grants was determined by the Meigs County Board of Commissioners during their June 16 meeting.

The board signed CDBG contracts and reviewed grant proposals from the Prosecutor’s Office, along with usual business.

Grant Administrator Betsy Entsminger described the CDBG program as “designed to put dollars toward locally desired projects. It’s a tremendous amount of money for our area.”

The commissioners signed contracts with service providers based off the federally awarded grants.

Many summer projects in the public eye will receive funding this source, including the Middleport Splash Park ($50,000 and $3,876 to GameTime) and the Salem Township fire house rehabilitation ($32,200 to D&D Construction).

Smaller amounts were approved for Middleport Parks and Recreation efforts, including $8,727 to APC Play, $504 to Valley Lumber and $2,723 to Mark Haley.

The last of the seven signed contracts was for the Salisbury Township guardrail repairs ($5,525 to PDK Construction).

Theda Petrasko, of the Victim Assistance program, consulted the board with two grant proposals, unrelated to the CDBG. A mission of Prosecutor Colleen Williams, the program is financed by the state Victim Assistance Act and the federal Victim of Crimes Act (VOCA). Total funding for VOCA in Ohio has increased by $56 million this year, and provides an opportunity to the Prosecutor’s Office to expand services. Meigs is eligible for $20,400 in VOCA money in 2017 if the county provides a 20 percent match ($4,762.43). Petrasko petitioned the federal government to waive the 20 percent, but the board approved the money in the event the request is denied.

After bills were paid in the amount of $7,580 from a total $347,948, the final financial item was to issue $17,441 to EmergiTech (B091B04). “They have been our 911 technology vendor for many years,” Commissioner Randy Smith said.

The board verified receipt of paperwork for the Meigs Health Department tax levy, which is up for renewal in November. As Commissioner Tim Ihle informed the meeting, the administrative process now sends it to the county auditor who will review the department’s financial records.

“When they send it back, and if everything looks good, we can certify it for the ballot this fall,” Ihle said.

On behalf of the Meigs Ministerial Association, Del Pullins requested occasional use of the vacated Mark Porter’s car dealership in downtown Pomeroy. The site is now owned by the county, and the ministers sought to run a monthly food pantry out of the showroom. The commissioners encouraged the beneficence on a temporary basis.

Ihle spoke for the board saying, “Month to month is absolutely fine, though we are continuing to work on a permanent occupant. But you are welcome to use it in the meantime.”

The meeting opened on a somber note, as Ihle stated, “President Obama has directed all flags be lowered to half-staff through sunset on June 16 due to the horrific attack in Orlando, Fla.”

Flags in Ohio remained half-staff through June 17 by order of Gov. John Kasich following the death of former Gov. George Voinovich.

As the final item on the agenda, acting clerk Gage Smith verified the July 7 bid openings for paving Township Road 165 and related materials.

The next regularly scheduling meeting of the Meigs County Commissioners is June 23 at 11 a.m. in the Pomeroy Courthouse.

Michael Hart

For the Daily Sentinel