McCOMB — McComb students will have a safer route to school, thanks to two state grants that were announced Monday by the village Police Department.

Safe Routes to School, operated through the Ohio Department of Transportation, has awarded McComb $262,337, McComb Police Chief Greg Smith told Village Council.

Upgrades will be made to some streets, sidewalks and curbs used by students headed to and from McComb schools, and street lighting will be improved in some areas.

A second Safe Routes grant will provide $9,940 for the Police Department to provide traffic safety education programs to youths.

“Those are two very big grants we applied for,” Smith told McComb Council.

Next, meetings will be held with state and village officials.

Smith later said there is no precise timeline yet for when the work might be completed.

“It goes in phases,” Smith said.

Separately, McComb natural gas customers will realize a savings this fall.

Council President Gordon Myers said village customers should see a 17 percent reduction in natural gas bills starting in September due to a change in a debt retirement structure.

McComb has a municipal-run gas service.

Separately, council’s Streets Committee will seek bids for fixing some streets and alleys this summer.

Councilman Jim Clark, who chairs the committee, said $150,000 is expected to be spent on roadway work.

Starting next year, Clark said a three-year plan for more street repairs will be devised by his committee, including rebuilding a portion of West South Street and repaving a section of Bond Preble, depending on how much funding is available.

In another street issue, Councilwoman Carol Cary said better speed limit signage is needed on Merrimont Drive.

“I holler at (speeding drivers) ‘Slow down!'” Cary said.

“It doesn’t help. There are more young children (living in that area). I would hate for some kid to get hit,” she said.

Separately, a generator must be replaced at the water treatment plant, Village Administrator Kevin Siferd said.

A temporary generator is in use after a generator at the plant died last Friday, he said. A new generator might arrive in two months, the administrator said.

Separately, council agreed to rezone a property next to Hearthside Food Solutions on Rader Road from residential to business.

According to Councilman Dennis Turner, the company intends to use a current apartment at 428 W. Cooper St. as an employee wellness facility.

The facility will assist Hearthside workers with smoking cessation, cholesterol screening and other wellness matters.

In other business, council:

  • Said mosquito spraying will start Thursday and continue every other Thursday.
  • Was informed that light poles will be installed beginning this week at a ballfield at the village park.
  • Received a proclamation from Ohio Gov. John Kasich, praising the village for working to improve itself with an Orton Family Foundation grant.
  • Praised those involved with the recent Independence Day fireworks at the park.

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