Canfield turns to EPA to fund sewer project
By Justin Dennis
After being passed over for a $1.2 million Ohio Public Works Commission loan to run water and sewer lines to the newly annexed Red Gate Farm property, city officials are now seeking Ohio EPA dollars for the work, which could cost at least $2.5 million, city Manager Wade Calhoun said.
“In previous years, there’s been more [OPWC] loan funds available than projects. This year was an odd year to where there were more projects than there were loan funds available,” he said.
City officials are now finalizing a grant application to the EPA’s Water Pollution Control Loan Fund for the utility work’s total cost, which has yet to be determined. WPCLF loan term lengths range from 15 to 25 years at interest rates between 2.1 and 2.7 percent, Calhoun said.
He said the city doesn’t qualify for grant funding for utility projects, as the city’s median household income levels and the city’s water and sewer revenues are too high.
The city, however, was awarded a $225,000 OPWC grant in the most recent funding cycle for its 2019 road-resurfacing program, which is expected to cost about $582,000.
Water and sewer service is the first step to developing the 280-acre Red Gate property near the corner of U.S. Route 224 and Leffingwell Road, which the city annexed from the township late last year. Last month, the city began seeking qualified consultants to develop a broad, comprehensive plan for development in the city, Calhoun said. Those submissions are due today.
“The new Comprehensive Plan will be forward-thinking and address anticipated growth and redevelopment in a way that preserves and develops the small town character, maximizes infrastructure [and] enhances multi-modal opportunities while providing the city with a means to enhance the quality of life of residents and businesses by providing the means towards economic, social and environmental stability,” reads the request.
The request also calls for a study of the U.S. Route 224 corridor “to address congestion and safety issues as well as aesthetics.”