- The village of West Lafayette receives $ 1.25 million from the state in two grants for several critical projects.
- A grant of $ 500,000 for critical infrastructure will be used to repair 1,839 feet of storm sewer.
- The $ 750,000 Neighborhood Stabilization Grant will be used to improve Waterworks Park, paving streets and parking lots and more.
- Mayor Stephen Bordenkircher believes that grants improve quality of life and stimulate economic development.
COSHOCTON – Several needed improvements around the village of West Lafayette will be completed with two state grants of $ 1.25 million, received through Coshocton County Commissioners.
The Ohio Department of Development has awarded a grant of $ 750,000 for neighborhood revitalization and a grant of $ 500,000 for critical infrastructure. All work is expected to start in the spring and summer, and be completed before the end of 2022.
The grant for critical infrastructure will be used to improve flooding and drainage. Approximately 1,829 linear feet of deteriorated or partially collapsed storm sewers will be replaced. The total project is estimated at $ 590,000, with the remainder of the funding coming from the village as matching funds. Carrying out such works has been a priority for the village since it was devastated by the massive floods of June 2019.
Mayor Stephen Bordenkircher has said he never wants to see a disaster like this again, and his administration has worked for the past two years to make sure that doesn’t. The biggest obstacle has been the funding, to which this grant contributes.
“Since the flooding, the sewer has been a main target for us. The cause of the flooding, the main contributing factor beyond the rain, was a poor sewage system outside the village,” Bordenkircher said. “It was probably the worst experience of my life and I don’t want to see the village relive it.”
The main sewer line along Main Street and side streets will be upgraded to improve drainage. Another grant is underway that would help extend the existing storm sewer all the way to Seventh Street and the Wall and Fifth Street area. Bordenkircher said these were problem areas during the 2019 floods because there was nowhere to go for water. The sewage system dates from 1909.
âA few years ago. Sadly, the people who designed it, back then, were only thinking about the immediate needs and not the future. They didn’t realize the growth we would or would have. might have, “Bordenkircher mentioned.
The neighborhood revitalization grant will be used for several projects. This includes improvements to Waterworks Park such as the installation of a basketball court, a new 20 x 50 foot refuge, improved parking and equipment for a new playground. There will be 85 spaces. total parking in the park once the work is completed.
The park includes three ball fields and new toilets installed this year. Bordenkircher hopes to add a walking trail in a few years if funds are available. He said most of the feedback they have received so far has come from residents eagerly awaiting the additions to the park.
âBurt Park is a beautiful park, but there are some restrictions on Burt Park. It’s impractical to put a playground there, âBordenkircher said. âOur kids, our kids, use this area (of Waterworks Park) a lot. We have baseball there from early spring to fall that is used for little league and there are families there. . ”
The revitalization grant will also fund the paving of 5,214 linear feet of road, the installation of 11 street lights, the paving of a public parking lot on East Main Street with 32 spaces and the installation of an ADA compliant ramp. in the administrative building. The paving will represent $ 300,000 in additional work in addition to the annual street paving program. Another ongoing grant will go towards sidewalk improvements if received.
Bordenkircher knows that most residents are unlikely to be enthusiastic about the modernization of the parking lot, but he considers it important for the promotion and growth of businesses along Main Street. Having proper public parking can only encourage visitors to walk around and explore the city center, he said.
âThis will be a huge improvement for the growth and development of businesses, which will promote other economic developments,â Bordenkircher said.