Morgan county herald > archives > news > top stories & breaking news > mcconnelsville council hosts grant writer

home news sports obituaries classifieds public notices contact us guestbook Links Subscribe! Wednesday, December 23, 2015 Edition “I never met one village or city that didn’t have needs. Between the water and sewer, and streets and electrical, parks and recreation, every village has plenty of needs,” said Richard Waugh, a grant writer from ADR & Associates, during the December 1 meeting of the McConnels­ville Village Council. Mayor John Finley had asked Waugh to attend the meeting to discuss the process of writing grants with the council. Waugh said that in the five and a half years he has been a grant writer for ADR, he has learned that there is money available to villages, if they only know who, and how, to ask. Waugh reviewed his record of success for writing grants through ADR in that time. In 2011, he wrote 35 grants; in 2012, he wrote 38 grants; in 2013, he wrote 31 grants; in 2014, he wrote 12 grants; and in 2015, he has written 11 grants so far. Waugh noted that four of the 11 grants he wrote in 2015 did not get submitted because the local governments were unsuccessful in securing matching funds.

He added that local governments were almost always required to match at least 20 percent of the funds to secure a grant. Waugh said one of the keys of being successful in securing grants is to know what grants are available, and who to work with to get them. He said the district that Morgan County is a part of, District 18, is especially hard to get a grant in. According to the 2010 census data, over 51 percent of Morgan County’s population is considered low or moderate income.

This makes Morgan County eligible for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program that offers a fifty-fifty matching grant of up to $500,000. Waugh said he enjoys working for ADR & Associates because he feels they are a company with integrity. He said ADR is largely a civil engineering firm, and that they specialize in things like streets, sewer, water, parks and recreation. Mayor Finley asked if ADR offered Waugh’s services as a grant writer on a per-grant basis, or would they be required to sign a contract with the company that required them to use ADR not only for their grant writing needs, but for all of their engineering needs as well. Waugh replied that it cost anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000 for them to write a grant, and they will work on an on-grant basis. He said all they want is to be reimbursed for those expenses. However, he said since ADR is a civil engineering firm, what they really want is to get contracted to design and inspect the projects they write the grants for. Waugh said villages can also hire ADR on retainer, and any needed grant writing services are included in the retainer fee. The retainer fee is $1,000 a month.

“I just work for my clients and try to get the best deal I can for my clients,” Waugh said. Mayor Finley and council thanked Waugh for coming. Waugh left several promotional items from ADR for council to review and consider the next time they need grant writing or engineering services. In other business, council reviewed and approved the minutes of the last meeting. The bills and expenses were then reviewed and approved. Mayor Finley reported he had received a letter from Columbia Gas of Ohio dated Nov. 25, 2015, explaining increases on the gas bill due to infrastructure replacements within the village.

The mayor noted that everyone on council had been sent a copy of the letter via email, and asked if anyone had any questions about it. No one did. Next, Mayor Finley brought up Ordinance 15-22, which will repeal Ordinance 84-20, the reciprocal tax credit with the Village of Malta. Due to upcoming changes in the municipal tax laws, the village is no longer able to offer different tax credits to different municipalities. Currently, Malta receives a credit of one percent for people who live in Malta and work in McConnelsville, while other municipalities, like Zanesville, only receive a half percent credit. The mayor requested that the ordinance be passed on an emergency basis due to the approaching deadline of the new state mandates.

All members voted to approve, except Councilman Darrell Newton, who voted no. Also, according to the new tax laws, the village needs to create a board of tax review for appeals. The board is required to have three people on it; two appointed by the council, and one appointed by the mayor.

The board members cannot be members of the council or the tax commissioner. The members of council appointed Shawn Shannon to the Tax Review Board. Council then approved the third and final reading of Ordinance 15-23, establishing the new curfew penalties. In the new ordinance, anyone under the age of 18 who is stopped by a law enforcement officer on the streets after 11 p. m., without a parent or other legal guardian, will be given a warning. The officer then has the option to take the child to the police department to be picked up by their parent or legal guardian.

The second offense will be classified as a fourth degree misdemeanor with the parent or guardian required to appear in mayor’s court, facing a fine of no more than $250 and a possible sentence of up to 30 days in jail. Any further offenses will face the same penalties, at the discretion of the mayor. Councilman Bragg noted that the new penalties will go into effect in 30 days. Village Administrator Thompson re­ported he had sent in the contracts for the clarifier repairs, as discussed during the last council meeting. Thompson said he has not received a quote back from Jess Howard Electric for the street light on SR 60, by the Commons, which fell down about a month ago. Councilman Mark Dille reported that the Streets and Alley Committee, consisting of Dille, Robison, and Newton, and John Thompson met at Jefferson Avenue to look at the diagonal parking on the east side of the street, as discussed at the previous meeting. Dille said the recommendation of the committee was that they replace the diagonal parking spaces with parallel parking spaces.

Dille noted it would reduce the number of spaces from 22 to 10 or 11, but it would reduce the possibility of accidents on that street due to vehicles blocking the roadway. Thompson said there may be a requirement on how many feet each space has to be. He said they will need to check with Police Chief Troy Copeland about any possible requirements. Mayor Finley said changing the parking from diagonal to parallel made sense to him. However, he said they will not be able to paint any new stripes until spring when the weather is warmer. Council approved the committee’s recommendation to change the parking on the east side of Jefferson Avenue from diagonal to parallel. Councilwoman Michelle Blackburn reported she has gotten several compliments from village residents about council’s decision to change the traffic pattern at Kroger, as discussed at the last meeting.

Dille said he has still seen some people exiting from Kroger’s lot onto Main Street. Mayor Finley said he has received a few complaints as well about people not obeying the traffic signs.

The mayor said he has asked Police Chief Copeland to have his men pull people over if they see them exiting from the front of the lot. Finally, Mayor Finley thanked Council­woman Mary Gessel again for her work on the council and for her years of service to the community. The mayor said he felt Gessel has done a fantastic job, and he hates to see her leave the council. Gessel said she appreciated Mayor Finley’s enthusiasm and hard work. She said she appreciated working with the rest of the members of the council. “I worked 30 years in state and county government, so when I was asked to be on the council by the former mayor, I really appreciated the opportunity,” Gessel said. Gessel continued, saying that when she drives through McConnelsville, she tries to look at the town as if it were the first time she was seeing it, and she tries to look for ways it can be improved. “It doesn’t matter how big we are, it’s just important that we’re the best that we can be,” she finished.

The next village council meeting will be held at 6 p. m. Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, at the council chambers in McConnelsville. Copyright © 2016 Morgan County Herald. All rights reserved.

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