Batavia trustees pursuing CDBG grant for shelter

By Kristin Bednarski
Sun staff

Batavia Township Trustees gave administrator Rex Parsons permission to move forward with the application process for a Community Development Block Grant for a new shelter at the community center during their April 8 meeting.

Trustees have been discussing plans for a shelter, playground and walking trail at the community center during recent meetings, and have discussed grant opportunities that may be available for the projects.

At their April 8 meeting, Parsons asked trustees for guidance about whether or not to apply for a CDBG grant for a shelter at the community center.

“We’d be going up against the fire department,” Parsons said.

Parsons said Central Joint Fire Department is also applying for the CDBG grant, which is $40,000 in funds spread across local communities.

Trustees agreed to move forward with the grant process, and discussed the fact that the fire department may not be selected for the grant either, and they wouldn’t want to regret not applying for the funds.

“I think we should move forward,” Trustee James Sauls Jr., said about the grant process for the shelter.

Trustees asked Parsons to look into shelter plans, and discussed what type of shelter they would want to build.

Parsons said the existing shelter they have at the community center was partially funded by a Community Development Block Grant. He said the shelter cost around $53,000 and included picnic tables and grills.

He said the shelter holds approximately 75 people and is a popular amenity at the community center.

“My suggestion is to get a bigger one,” Parsons said.

Trustees had originally discussed building the shelter this year and had budgeted some money for the project.

Parsons said they would not find out if they received any grant money from the Community Development Block Grant until the fall, so if they received the grant they could not begin construction until 2014.

“If you apply now you wouldn’t know until November or December,” Parsons said about the grant.

Trustees agreed that the time frame would be OK, and encouraged Parsons to move forward with the grant.

“Let’s move forward,” Dowdney said.

Sauls said they could work on plans for the shelter and also start the grant process.

“We would probably want to start construction late fall or early spring next year,” Sauls said about the shelter.

Parsons also presented trustees with the completed Nature Works Grant application for a walking path at the Batavia Township Community Center.

He said they included several letters of recommendations from county organizations for the project, which includes continuing a walking path around the baseball fields and the perimeter of the community center.

“It would be about 3,800 lineal feet,” Parsons said.

Parsons said the path is a good fit for the grant because of the health benefits it would provide for the community.

“People of all ages can walk,” Parsons said. “This does promote family activity, which is what we are proposing.”

He said the grant is through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and he said he plans to deliver the completed application to the state office in Columbus this week.

“It would be a great addition,” Sauls said about the walking path.