Three Clinton County villages seeking CDBG funds


By Gary Huffenberger - ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com



From left are Community Action Chief Executive Officer Jane Newkirk and Community Action Senior Services Director Stella Cramer.

From left are Community Action Chief Executive Officer Jane Newkirk and Community Action Senior Services Director Stella Cramer.


Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

WILMINGTON — Three Clinton County villages have submitted project proposals, hoping to be awarded a portion of the $184,000 of the biennial CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) funds that the county is slated to receive.

The Village of Midland wants to do a reconstruction of Branch Street, which an engineer estimates would cost $66,000.

The Village of Port William seeks funds for a new park in town, needing dollars to pay for the site, the playground, and fencing.

Amy W. Schocken, partner, CDC (Community Development Consultants) of Ohio Inc., told Clinton County commissioners Wednesday she’s had many conversations with the village Mayor Steve Jones.

“He really wants to get a new park in Port William,” said Schocken.

The village already has an option to purchase the property, she added.

The Village of New Vienna has submitted two projects for consideration: storm sewer improvements on College Street, and a restroom at their new park.

Firmer cost estimates are still being worked out for the New Vienna and Port William proposals, according to Schocken.

Separate from these CDBG grants is the CARES Act Target of Opportunity grants, which Clinton County Community Action and the Clinton County Homeless Shelter are seeking.

Community Action, which has a variety of senior services it operates out of the Senior Center on North Nelson Avenue, Wilmington, is interested in converting its patio into an exercise room.

The present exercise room is small and “there’s hardly any room for seniors to get on and off the equipment,” Community Action Chief Executive Officer Jane Newkirk said at the commissioners meeting.

The proposed project would enable the exercise equipment to be spread out, and furthermore, there could be more windows to open for better ventilation, she said.

“Exercise is a big part of keeping seniors active,” said Newkirk. And, more room would mean eventually more exercise equipment could be added.

Community Action also is seeking a new HVAC (heating, venting, air conditioning) system for its own building; the current one is 27 years old, she said.

Like Community Action, the Clinton County Homeless Shelter organization is interested in CARES Target of Opportunity grant dollars. They seek a new HVAC system and a food storage improvement.

Schocken reported the City of Wilmington is interested in what’s called a critical infrastructure grant for improvements to Mulberry Street. Likewise, the Village of Blanchester has expressed interest in the same type of grant, with its eye on Fancy Street water improvements Phase 2.

Community Action announcement

Newkirk took the opportunity Wednesday to announce a new venture for the private, not-for-profit organization.

“We will be offering early Head Start and private paid day care. That was a need in the community, day care is needed, so we’re stepping out and we’re in the process of trying to do that to expand day care for the community,” she told commissioners.

Community Action has put an offer on a former day care facility across from the Wilmington Post Office, and the offer was accepted. Currently, they are working through the finances and other details, she said.

The plan is to call it the Clinton County Early Learning Center, and it would be a preschool and day care facility.

As the situation progresses, more information will become available.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

From left are Community Action Chief Executive Officer Jane Newkirk and Community Action Senior Services Director Stella Cramer.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/04/web1_cdbg.jpgFrom left are Community Action Chief Executive Officer Jane Newkirk and Community Action Senior Services Director Stella Cramer. Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

By Gary Huffenberger

ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com