Struthers eyes EPA loan

STRUTHERS -- The state made the city council an offer it just couldn't refuse.
Looking to save several thousand dollars in interest, the council voted 7-0 Wednesday to apply for a 20-year Ohio Environmental Protection Agency loan with a 3.25-percent interest rate to fund expansion of the sewage treatment plant receiving station.
The need to act was paramount, since a timely application will get the low-interest rate; the loan amount has yet to be determined.
The state is offering the low-interest rate to encourage upgrading of sewage plants and targeted communities with pending projects.
Mayor Daniel C. Mamula said an increasing amount of effluent entering the treatment plant is taxing the receiving area.
The expansion of the receiving area is phase two of projects at the treatment facility. The city on Tuesday requested the District 6 Integrating Committee for $270,618 to fund phase three improvements.
That committee has about $7 million to distribute for projects in Mahoning and Trumbull counties. There were 64 applications requesting more than $17.5 million, the mayor noted.
Mamula told council that the phase three request and one seeking $140,264 to extend Bob Cene Way were both well received by the committee.
The council designated the phase three improvements as its No. 1 priority and the road extension as No. 2.
To strengthen its case for the road extension, the council is taking steps to dedicate land for it. The city owns the property and there is a road easement through it, but committee members want to see a dedicated plat for the road.
Mamula said he believes both have a good chance of being funded.
In other action, the council:
UForwarded to its police and fire committee a letter from its firefighters union president. Michael Agnone's letter requests that an engineer position open by the retirement of John Walsh be filled. The mayor said he saw no reason to fill the spot until a budget is adopted -- if ever. "There's no need to have someone turn their life upside down to take a job and then have the position disappear," Mamula said. The letter implied that the mayor promised to fill the spot in 2005. He said it was "a promise I didn't make." The mayor said he hoped the position could be filled but he couldn't promise that.
UHeard that income tax receipts for the first time failed to exceed those of the previous year. The city collected $2.419 million in '04, compared with $2.459 million in '03.
UHeard that the city could lose the more than $200,000 in state aid it is scheduled to receive if the General Assembly cuts the local government funding to balance the state budget. The mayor said the aid is about 8 percent of city general fund revenues but about 85 percent of the money library districts receive. The council is expected to adopt a resolution asking the governor and Legislature not to cut the funds.
UReceived and filed without comment an Ohio Division of Liquor Control notice of the proposed transfer of a C2 and C2X license for Franks Party Shoppe on Midlothian Boulevard from Priscilla A. Carlucci to James A. Carlucci III.

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