WOOD COUNTY, OH (Toledo News Now) - Some Wood County towns and villages will have to delay important projects because they were passed over in a competitive grant application process.
The Wood County commissioners took their final vote on community development block grants Thursday morning. They could only give funding to one-third of the communities that applied. Administrators said this year was more competitive than ever.
Streets in Weston can flood easily because the storm sewer drainage is too small.
"Cars drive through it, splash water up, but yeah, it makes it kinda hard to get through this area and for trucks to get out of the maintenance garage," said Sarah Schroeder, Weston fiscal officer.
Weston is not alone. It was one of 17 Wood County communities vying for only six development grants. Weston was not one of the lucky few.
"You just have to adjust the budget accordingly to stay in the black. We try to get money wherever we can. Right now our local government funds, they're decreasing gradually, and I'm sure that eventually those will be gone," said Schroeder.
The commissioners said local communities are not the only ones battling with dwindling funds.
"The economy's been very tough on government, from federal all the way down to local. It's been a challenge. You tighten the belt, you cut back, and we're thankful that there's at least some dollars to help us with these worthwhile local projects," said Tim Brown, Wood County commissioner.
Here is how the grants are broken down:
- Northwestern Water and Sewer District walked away with the most. It is replacing sanitary sewer laterals in northern Wood County.
- The Wood County Health Department also got money for sanitary sewer work.
- Bradner is replacing water mains.
- Portage is installing catch basins.
- Hoytville is putting a sidewalk along a busy road.
- Pemberville is putting a chair lift in its community pool.
"We take into consideration those projects that impact and have the most benefit on local citizens. We try to look at geography, as well, so that the money doesn't go to all one area of the county," said Brown.
Communities, like Weston, said they will try again next year.