Beverly Council reviews projects

BEVERLY -Village Council recapped progress made on projects in 2012 and discussed future projects and goals for the village during council’s first regularly scheduled meeting of the year Wednesday night.

In his state-of-the-village report, Beverly Mayor Rex Kenyon commented on the status of several ongoing projects, including the village’s attempts to secure funds for resurfacing some village roads. The council applied for a total of $323,988 in combined grants and loans in 2012, but that grant request was rejected by the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG), said Kenyon.

“The request will be submitted to the Small Government Committee,” said Kenyon.

The Small Government Committee, which will meet on Jan. 30 in Marietta to select seven small government-eligible projects for submission to the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC), is an alternative possible source for the funding, he said.

Council member Jay Arnold noted he is concerned that if the grant is unsuccessful, the village will have gone three years without any paving projects.

“It used to be that we were able to join hands with other communities. That’s when we got paving done,” said Arnold.

Partnering with other communities is risky because it can put the financial liability on a single community if the other can not come up with the finances, said Kenyon. He added that he had briefly mentioned the possibility of partnering for a resurfacing grant to the mayor of Belpre.

Additionally the council discussed the loans and grants being secured for the waterline replacement project. An $800,000 zero interest loan has already been secured from OPWC, said Kenyon. Now the village is in the process of trying to secure an additional $717,000 from the Ohio Water Development Authority (OWDA), said village clerk Pam Jackson.

“The agreement itself is really straightforward,” said village solicitor Tom Webster.

Arnold questioned why the village was no longer looking to a bank for the 2 percent interest loan, as had been the previous plan.

“The city wanted a 30-year loan and the bank would only agree to a 20,” said Jackson.

The ODWA loan, if approved, would offer 2 percent interest for 30 years, she added.

Council member and grants committee president Mary Jane Tullius expressed concern that the village was applying for too many grants that required matched funding from the village.

“I suggest that we not apply for any additional grants at this time until the budget has an opportunity to recover,” she said.

Kenyon questioned then whether they should no longer move forward with the OPWC grant request to fund resurfacing.

Council member Jim Ullman also expressed concern about spending funds not available.

“We said in the state of the village report there are no excess funds. I guess that concerns me that we don’t have money for a contingency fund,” he said.

Jackson noted that while there is no excess in the general fund, the paving project would be matched with money from the streets fund, which is quite healthy.

Additionally, Kenyon said he would like the council to come up with legislature in the upcoming year that would require utility companies to get permits before working inside the village.

Kenyon said he noticed a truck installing large cables underground in the village earlier in the week.

“I would have thought they would have needed to have that OK’d by the village, but I had no knowledge of it,” said Kenyon.

The company, Horizon, was installing fiber optic cables, he said.

Council also adopted the Ohio Basic Code as the municipality’s code of ordinances for 2013 and unanimously re-elected council member Kandy Baker to a second full term as council president.

The next regular village of Beverly council meeting is Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. at the village office, 919 Mitchell Ave.