NEW LEXINGTON — A public hearing was held at the Perry County Commissioner’s weekly meeting regarding the proposed Mainesville waterline extension. Hocking Athens Perry Community Action has been working to secure grants in hopes of funding the long awaited endeavor.

Nathan Simons, community development coordinator at HAPCAP, scheduled a public hearing with the commissioners giving the community a chance to speak and ask questions about the proposed water project. Those who were also in attendance included board members from the Southern Perry Water District — Jim Palmer, George Owen, and Jay Ferguson. Simon organized and spoke at the hearing on behalf of the Southern Perry Water District.

The first public meeting regarding the proposed project was on Feb. 28. The hearing gave local community members a chance to inform citizens about the CDBG program, how it could be used, what activities are eligible and other program requirements. The second public hearing occurred in June 12 and all of the all allocation and competitive programs were discussed.

“This third public hearing is to inform citizens about the county’s intent to apply for the CDBG Residential Infrastructure grant program,” Simons stated.

Simons added that the project involves improving the water line that runs along Mainesville Road, west of state Route 668, in Junction City. The total estimated cost for the proposed water project is $1.2 million.

Southern Perry Water District Board President Palmer stated that he and his board members have been trying to get this project done for the last five years. He added that it has been difficult finding financing through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“It looks like the project is a go, hopefully,” Palmer stated.

Funding has already been secured for the project through other grants. Palmer stated that the Southern Perry Water District applied for and received an Appalachian Regional Commission grant for $250,000 and they are in the process of obtaining a zero percent EPA loan.

“I think it’s a good looking application,” Simons expressed to the commissioners. “For us, it looked like a no brainer — it’s a good project.”

Wednesday was the third public hearing regarding the Perry County PY 2019 Ohio Small City Community Block Grant (CDBG) program project. Written in an agenda that Simons passed out to the public, Perry County intends to apply for the federally-funded program under the Ohio Development Services Agency, which is administered by the state.

On the agenda, Perry County is applying for $604,000 in the 2019 CDBG Residential Public Infrastructure Grant funds. The program under the Ohio Development Service Agency focuses on creating safe and sanitary living environments for residents in Ohio through the provision of reliable and safe drinking water as well as proper disposal of sanitary waste.

The program funds local projects that provide water and sanitary sewer service to residential homes. On-site improvements include service laterals, septic tanks and well abandonment. Those who are eligible for the grant funding include non-entitlement counties, cities and villages.

The commissioners authorized HAPCAP to submit their program for the residential infrastructure grant. Simons stated that the memorandum of understanding must be done between the Southern Perry Water District and the county. The formal agreement will be used as a partnership tool, something that HAPCAP regularly does when assisting in projects.

“We will take good care of you,” Simons commented to those from the Southern Perry Water District.

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