State Says Revolving Loan Funds To Be Dissolved Soon

By Ellen Simmons
Record Correspondent

New London administrator Shawn Pickworth told council Monday it appears that the state wants all Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) dissolved in the near future.

He said earlier this year he applied for a $500,000 grant through the state to repair storm sewers and rebuild roads on New London Ave. and West Washburn St. The grant was denied but the village can apply again, but this time with strings attached.

The state will require the village to use all of its RLF money towards the project. Payments on any outstanding loans from the fund would then go into the village’s general fund.

The village’s RLF current balance is around $165,000, and Pickworth said it is up to council to decide to use the money for the storm sewers and road projects or for some other project. He added, “The state does not want any RLFs out there anymore.”

Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) funding for the East St., Birch Park Dr. extension and New London Ave. extension also looks doubtful, according to Pickworth. The funding was denied last year but the application was resubmitted with changes to help the project score higher.

Pickworth said applications are always submitted to the county around the first of September. In the past, all the entities in the county requesting money met at the county level to rate the projects before they were sent to the district. He said that way everyone had a good idea what the chances were of their project being approved.

This year Pickworth was told by the county engineer there would be no county meeting, a decision made by him and the Norwalk and Willard City Managers. He feels that this places the villages in a losing position without much hope of receiving any OPWC money. He said the other villages around the county feel the same way and added, “It needs to be a level playing field for the villages.”

A preconstruction meeting took place Oct. 4 with representatives from Poggemeyer Design Group, Kirk Bros. Co. and the village concerning the water treatment plant improvement project. It was determined permits are not needed through Richland County for new clear wells and drying beds, and it is hoped outside construction can begin this fall. Inside work will take place during the winter.

A scheduled waterline repair at the corner of Grove and First streets ran into an issue with the need to cut off water to Windy Acres, which has a pressurized sprinkler system. That, plus new Ohio Environmental Protection Agency regulations, complicates the project, but the water department is working to minimize the number of customers taken out of service during the repairs as well as to comply with the new rules.

Downtown property owner Eric Von Kamp questioned when letters would go out to property owners concerning sidewalk repairs. Mayor John Martin said, “We are in the process of talking about it.”

Marvin McCallister asked if anyone can bid on the cemetery mausoleum roof projects and he was told yes.

Firelands Ambulance Service had 65 runs in September, and the annual Parks Gun Raffle is Nov. 10 with tickets $10 each or six for $50. Twenty-five guns will be raffled, and one of the side raffles is an Ohio State Golf Cart.

Members voted to go into executive session “to consider the sale of property at competitive bidding if premature disclosure of information would give an unfair competitive or bargaining advantage to a person whose personal, private interest is adverse to the general public.” After returning to regular session, no action was taken.

New London Council meets regularly on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in chambers located on James St. The next meeting is Oct. 22.

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