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Cadiz working to qualify as a low- to moderate-income community

CADIZ — The village is still short nearly 250 surveys for its application to help determine if it will qualify as a low- to moderate-income community.

In order to potentially obtain hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant funding, the village of Cadiz mailed out surveys to 348 households who were randomly selected to answer questions that will help the village secure the LMI status. Mayor John Migliore said if the village qualifies, it will have the opportunity to secure a $750,000 grant through Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association. The money will help fund the village’s water and sewer upgrade projects.

During Thursday’s council meeting, Migliore gave an update on the surveys. He said the village has only received 101 of the surveys back from homeowners. He said the village needs to collect the additional 247 surveys within the 6 month time frame it has been given to complete its application.

Clerk/Treasurer Amy Ossman said they went through the list and recently sent out an additional 21 more surveys; however, the village needs to hire a couple individuals to go door-to-door and collect the information.

“If this isn’t done within the 6 month (timeframe) then we have to start all over, and we’ve already sent out a lot (of letters),” she said.

Ossman suggested council hire two people as temporary employees just until the surveys are all collected.

Councilman John Vermillion questioned spending village funds to only possibly obtain grant funding. He said that council previously declined to hire additional workers for the street and sanitation departments because of a lack of funds. He also added that the money they will spend on the temporary hires could be used elsewhere.

“You could spend $5,000 and they could say that you don’t qualify. … Why don’t you put the $5,000 toward police raises or toward something else,” he said.

Migliore said spending money to hire people to help secure the funding is worth the risk.

“That is such an important item that if we were to get it, it would be really beneficial for this community,” he added. “… This is going to be advantageous for this community. If we get that designation, there is going to be a lot of money coming in through the community block grant funds that we are not entitled to now.”

After some back-and-forth discussion, Councilman Terry Capers made a motion that they advertise to hire two people to collect the survey information for the LMI designation; Councilman Eric Miller seconded the motion. The vote passed 4-1 with Vermillion voting against.

The temporary positions will pay $13 per hour. A number of hours the individuals will work per week has not been determined. Ossman said it will be on an “as needed” basis for around a two-month period or until the surveys are fully collected.

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