Fayette village council 2011.12.21

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Plans for funding Fayette’s sewer separation project took a turn for the worse since federal dollars are becoming more scarce.

Roberta Acosta of the Rural Community Assistance Program (RCAP) broke the news to council members Dec. 14 at the committee of the whole meeting.

“There are some issues with the funding that have come up,” she said. “There are not much federal dollars coming this year.”

RCAP, a private non-profit agency, has worked with the village for several years in an effort to seek funding for sewer work.

Acosta reminded council of its decision to complete the sewer work in one large project rather than tackling smaller phases, as was done in the past.

The U.S.D.A.  was to fund 45 percent of the project cost, but now, Acosta said, the offer is to give a grant of $1.7 million (28 percent of the cost) and a loan of $2.4 million.

Acosta said she told U.S.D.A. representatives that Fayette’s project would grind to a halt with those arrangements.

She estimates that sewer rates would need to increase by $33 a month to finance the U.S.D.A. proposal.

If council were to forgo the U.S.D.A. money, she said, and instead borrow everything interest-free from the U.S. EPA, rates would bump up by about half that much. Initially, an increase of only $8 a month was expected.

Acosta said she will continue pushing the U.S.D.A. for additional funds.

There are four areas where applicants accumulate points in the competitive funding program and Fayette has the maximum number of points in three areas. Earning more points in the fourth could lead to a grant covering up to 75 percent of the project. Acosta said it’s a long shot to move up in the standings, but it’s worth a try.

Maintenance supervisor Tom Clemensen told council it’s important to document sewer backups—septic sewage, not storm water, and backups related to the main sewer lines and not service lines to homes.

Clemensen said he’s received reports of sewage backing up into basements following heavy rain events.

The predicament for the village, Acosta said, comes through rising construction costs.

“I always tell people, ‘Your project is never going to get cheaper than now,’ ” she said.

An increase in grant funding will likely be partially offset by higher construction costs.

PARKS—The Fayette park board is recommending Nick Ramos to serve as the new park director. A second candidate was also very qualified, Clemensen said, making the board’s decision a tough one. Council will vote on filling the position at the Dec. 28 meeting.

Park board member Jason Ohlemacher said discussion continues with the Fayette United Methodist Church youth group about operating the park concession stand next summer as a fund raiser.

The youth group, or any other interested organization, would pay for utilities—estimated at $100 a month—and the village would only handle any maintenance needs that might arise.

ZONING—Dave Wheeler announced his resignation from the village zoning board since he will join village council in January.

  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016