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$645K secured for sewer project

T-L Photo/SHELLEY HANSON THE OLD West Bellaire School building marks the entrance to the West Bellaire neighborhood on Friday. A long-awaited storm sewer and repaving project for West Bellaire can now happen since $645,600 in funding has been secured by the village.

BELLAIRE — After two years of working, waiting and past rejections, the village secured funding for a major storm sewer and repaving project for West Bellaire.

Funding for the $645,600 project was made possible via efforts by Councilman Mike Doyle, Deputy Auditor Marla Krupnik and grant writer Phyllis Barnhart, Krupnik said.

The funding includes a $334,600 grant from the Ohio Public Works Small Governments Grant program with the remainder being matching money from the village in the form of low-interest loans, she said.

“The grant may just be for a paving and storm sewer project, but it truly gives Bellaire hope that things are going to get better,” Krupnik said. “It took several attempts to receive the grant, but we do not give up easily. We are already in the planning stages to apply for more grants.”

She noted the project is much needed for that neighborhood.

“It looks like a river going down the road when it rains,” she said.

The engineer on the project is CTI Engineering, and Danny Popp is the project manager. Once the project is bid out, a contractor for the job will be chosen.

Securing this grant is a big win for the village, as for the past two years it has not been chosen to receive such funding for this particular project. Krupnik said thanks to the tenacity of Doyle and work by Barnhart also, the grant was approved.

“We’re so happy about that. … We’re waiting (to hear) from the Ohio Public Works for future instructions,” she added.

In addition to the line work, streets listed to be repaved in the project included Fourth Avenue from Maple to Ohio 149; Third Avenue from Birch to Washington streets; and Maple Avenue from Third and Fourth avenues.

Stormwater separations are mandated by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. However, most local cities and villages do not have the money on hand to do such projects, leaving many communities to compete for grant dollars each year.

In 2017, a $400,000 project to replace a 60-inch stormwater drain was conducted near the West Bellaire neighborhood. The project included the replacement of 380 feet of pipe that had collapsed in several places.

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