Madison Village applying for additional CDBG funds – News-Herald
Madison Village is aiming to secure Community Development Block Grant funds to enhance two public improvement projects that are in the planning stages.
Village Council, during its Nov. 14 meeting, approved legislation authorizing Mayor Sam Britton to submit applications for extra CDBG funding that Lake County is making available to entities that qualify.
Specifically, the county stated in a public notice that an additional $800,000 in fiscal year 2022 CDBG money was being offered for activities in the Public Facilities/Improvements Category. Examples of eligible uses are “acquisition, construction, or installation of public works, facilities, and site or other improvements or rehabilitation of buildings or improvements,” the county stated in its announcement.
Entities seeking grants from this latest round of CDBG funding had until Nov. 16 to submit applications to the Lake County Planning and Community Development Department.
Madison Village is seeking separate $75,000 CDBG grants to bolster its funding for two projects: creation of a wetlands observation deck and trail near the Madison Senior Center; and improving all-inclusive accessibility of the Dana’s Park playground.
“These are two active projects we’ve been successfully getting some state funding for, and figured it wouldn’t hurt to increase the scope of those projects a little bit, so we’re applying for $75,000 to add to each of those projects,” Village Administrator Dwayne Bailey said.
The Dana’s Park project started as an effort to update playground equipment at the site, which is located behind Madison Village Hall at 33 E. Main St.
“Our goal was to modernize the playground and park, making it more user-friendly and improve all-inclusive accessibility,” Bailey said.
The park is named after Dana Dominick, a Madison Township man who was killed in a vehicle crash on Route 2 in 1989. Dana’s parents, Jim and Betty Dominick of Madison Township, purchased the playground equipment for the park in the early 1990s in honor of their son.
Madison Village budgeted $50,000 in 2022 as a first phase of the park and playground modernization. The village then received a $50,000 state grant for the project, thanks to assistance from state Sen. Jerry Cirino, R-Kirtland, and state Rep. Jamie Callender, R-Concord Township.
“With the $100,000 budget, we would be able to replace about half of the existing playground with modern surfacing and handicapped accessible equipment,” Bailey said.
Madison Village is hoping to receive the $75,000 CDBG grant so the Dana’s Park project could be expanded and completed all at once, instead of in phases, Bailey added.
The village’s wetlands trail and observation deck project near the Senior Center on Hubbard Road stems from a wetland restoration/bird habitat endeavor that has been on the drawing board for some time, Bailey said.
“Initially, we were going to partner with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Lake County Stormwater Management Department to restore the wetland,” Bailey said. “But as the project developed, it just became too expensive and was tabled.”
Eventually, the staff at the Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District approached Madison Village government leaders about reviving the project through the H2Ohio program.
“We applied for and received a grant for $478,650 and that restoration work is currently underway, to be completed in spring of 2023,” Bailey said. “We thought that once the restoration was complete, it would be a great birding and educational opportunity.”
He said the village again was helped by Cirino and Callender, who spearheaded a drive to approve a $50,000 state grant.
The village also has allocated $50,000 in its 2023 budget for the Senior Center wetlands observation deck and trail project.
“Our goal is to provide all-inclusive access to the wetland by way of a stormwater friendly permeable paver parking area, Americans with Disabilities Act accessible elevated observation deck and primitive trail through the wetland,” he said.
If the village receives the $75,000 CDBG grant for the wetlands observation deck and trail, this money would be used “to increase the scale and quality of the project,” Bailey said.
Lake County gets an annual allocation from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to administer the CDBG funds. The county accepts applications every spring from interested communities for housing programs, economic development projects, public improvements and public services.
County commissioners then approve a list of recipients each year, specifying what projects or activities will be funded with their grants.
In regard to the $800,000 in additional funding which was offered, Lake County described the allocation in its notice as “a proposed substantial amendment to the consolidated plan/2022 annual action plan” for the CDBG program.
The extra funding would come from “available program income and prior year funds of the Community Development Block Grant Program from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development,” the notice stated.