Commissioners give Wellsville, EP largest share of federal funds

LISBON – Columbiana County commissioners decided Wednesday to use its 2015 allocation of federal CDBG money to benefit projects in East Palestine, Wellsville and Butler and Center townships.

The commissioners’ allocation is $247,200, and they spent the past several weeks reviewing 13 applications from cities, villages and townships seeking a piece of the funding pie. The requests totaled just over $1 million.

Wellsville will receive the largest allocation – $108,000 – which will be used by the village to install storm sewer and seven catch basins along 20th Street, between Clark Avenue and the state Route 7 bypass.

The total project cost is $122,750, with the village contributing $14,750.

The next largest allocation – $74,020 -was awarded to East Palestine, which wants to add a fourth well to its municipal water system. This is to provide another backup well in case of an emergency similar to what occurred in January, when well problems created by the sub-zero temperatures left the village without water for three days.

The total project cost is $152,000, and the village originally requested $114,000 from commissioners.

Butler Township trustees are to receive $42,305 to replace the bridge on Woodsdale Road with a wider span. The township is contributing nothing to the project.

Finally, Center Township was awarded $22,875 as part of a $68,620 project to complete paving of the Pritchard Heights area of Elk and Bluff avenues as well as Alley A. The township is contributing $45,745.

Commission Chairman Jim Hoppel said they do their best to spread the money around among communities, depending on the project.

“We try to level it out as much as possible. We look at need, the project and have they been allocated in the past,” he said.

The process was helped this year after East Liverpool returned $63,500 in 2015 CDBG money it was awarded by commissioners for a street resurfacing project. City officials decided the resurfacing could not wait another year and worked with commissioners to come up with another way to fund the project so the streets can be resurfaced this summer.