|Regional Planning Commission talks about funding|
|Wednesday, January 22, 2014 9:16 PM|
BY KIRK DOUGAL
Times Bulletin Publisher
VAN WERT - The Van Wert County Regional Planning Commission met on Tuesday evening with the election of officers and a look forward to the rest of the year on the agenda.
The commission accepted the full slate of officers recommended to serve for 2014, including Commissioner Todd Wolfrum as president, Jarret Hammons as vice president, Cathie Miller as secretary, Nancy Dixon as treasurer and three at-large members on the executive committee: Jackie Marbaugh, Mike Jackson and Mary Beth Holtsberry.
Wolfrum expressed an interest in seeing the commission move forward in the coming year with an eye toward economic development in the represented areas. Under the Van Wert County Commissioners’ new economic development office, some of the focus has turned to finding available funding and utilizing those monies for improvements in the county. He told the representatives they have access to a grant search engine that would allow them to look for funding and he urged each of them to locate issues in their villages or townships that need addressed. He then asked them to bring forward those ideas so they can search as a group for solutions and the money to fix them.
Miller reported she will be attending a webinar in the next few weeks as a part of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act. This legislation refers to changes through FEMA of flood insurance and how it could affect local residents. It extended the National Flood Insurance Program for five years but also required significant reforms. However, there is still some uncertainty about how soon the reforms go into effect. Miller said they are still waiting on federal direction of a start date but that the program is slated to begin sometime in 2014.
The commission also received a report on ongoing or recently completed grants:
— The Formula Grant for Middle Point and the City of Van Wert are both completed. These projects involved work on Jackson Street in Middle Point and the handicap-accessible front entrance at the Van Wert City Municipal Building.
— Neither the city or the county were funded for the 2013 CHIP Grants. These would have included funds for homelessness prevention.
— The 2013 Formula Grant and the 2013 Neighborhood Revitalization Grant for Middle Point were funded and the environmental reviews have been completed. A release for all activities excluding Activity 7 (Water Facility Improvements) has been received.
— All county monies under the Move Ohio Forward program have been utilized with a small amount remaining for use by the City of Van Wert. Move Ohio Forward funds the razing of uninhabitable houses.
The next meeting of the commission is at 5 p.m. on April 15 at the commissioners office.
The public is invited to attend.