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Village gets grant for waterline work

By BRIAN LESTER
STAFF WRITER
BLUFFTON — Bluffton has received a grant through the Ohio Public Works Commission for the Garmatter Street waterline project.
Village Administrator James Mehaffie announced the grant at the Village Council meeting on Monday night.
The $139,000 grant will cover about half the cost of the project, which will involve replacing sewers and waterlines along the street, Mehaffie said.
Separately, Mehaffie said he is meeting with insurance adjusters this week to discuss the town hall, which was damaged this spring when a broken sprinkler head flooded the building, causing damage to all three floors. About 2,000 gallons of water poured into the downtown building before the Fire Department shut off the water.
Mehaffie said he does not have an estimate yet on the total cost of the damage.
The insurance deductible for the village is $1,000.
Police Chief Rick Skilliter said some of the equipment on the second floor of the town hall, which is where the Police Department is located, is starting to fail, including the electric door openers.
He originally thought those would survive the damage.
He told council the issues regarding the equipment would need to be addressed in the near future.
Separately, Bluffton’s street paving work is nearly complete, although Councilman Joe Selhorst noted potholes on a couple of streets still need to be filled in. He expects that work to be completed soon.
Selhorst said if there is money left over once the work is done, the village will pave Spring Street between College and Elm streets.
Separately, Jesse Blackburn was named assistant village administrator.
He is working on property maintenance issues and zoning matters.
The next council meeting is scheduled for 8 p.m. July 7.

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