By JIM MAURER
TIFFIN — The Seneca County commissioners have approved seeking a $280,000 grant to demolish dilapidated housing in Fostoria.
Jill Griffin, executive director of Seneca Regional Planning Commission, will apply for the Neighborhood Revitalization Grant through the Community Development Block Grant program.
Application deadline is in June.
The county unsuccessfully sought a similar grant last year. But Fostoria did receive a Moving Ohio Forward Grant recently for $280,000 for housing demolition.
Separately, a meeting will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the municipal building in New Riegel to discuss the village’s sewer rate hike. Area, state and federal legislators are expected to attend in person or via a conference call. The meeting is being organized by New Riegel Mayor Larry Bouillon.
Property owners in the New Riegel Sewer District will see about a 30 percent increase in quarterly bills beginning next month, as increased expenses and lower revenues have forced Seneca County to raise rates.
The Seneca County commissioners will consider a resolution soon to increase rates from about $205 per quarter, per unit, to about $314 per quarter, per unit, according to county Engineer Mark Zimmerman.
Payments are made based on use. Businesses, commercial and industrial users generally pay for more units than residential users.
March sewer district bills are expected to include the increase. The bills will cover January through March usage.
Zimmerman said the sewer bill collection was about $155,000 in 2013, while $160,000 was projected.
Expenses were $220,000 to $240,000, including $60,000 for debt payment and $75,000 to Fostoria for wastewater treatment.
There is a 40-year debt repayment, including about a $1 million loan the county received to purchase the sewer system from New Riegel. The village was unable to make payments after Farmland Foods, which would have funded about 60 percent of the debt, closed its meat plant.
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