JAMESTOWN — Keeping stride with the continuous improvements in the village, officials discussed grant money and a possible tree replacement project during a regular meeting of village council March 20.
During the meeting, Kristi Tidd of the Greene County Department of Development spoke to council about deadlines for grant funding from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“You’ve been a recipient for numerous years,” Tidd said. “That funding comes from HUD and we have to put out information regarding fair housing … If individuals are having issues with their landlords, we cannot give them legal advice. We refer them to legal aid. We typically don’t get referrals from your community. If you get any, have them call me.”
Block grant deadlines for improvements in the village are coming up soon, Tidd said, with applications due April 19 to the Greene County Commissioners. Tidd hopes to get the funding by April 28.
“Additional funding cuts are coming soon,” she said. “We don’t have our figures for this coming year yet. Communities will only be able to apply every other year now, as opposed to every year.”
Tidd said their department has a notice out for eligible communities. The minimum amount, she said, is $150,000.
“We will have two years to complete a project,” she said. “We won’t be restricted to have it done by Dec. 31.”
Tidd also said they will be able to draw that out into two construction seasons, instead of one.
“Funding for critical infrastructure opens June of every year,” Tidd said. “That includes things like waterways and sewer drains.”
The village now must find out what the community needs, and identify low income areas.
“We will be in touch in a week or so,” Mayor Jerrod Pickens told Tidds.
To qualify for the grant money, the mayor said the residents on those streets have to be low to moderate income.
“Income surveys have to be obtained to even qualify,” he said. “We don’t need to do them yet. We have another two years on those streets.”
Also during the meeting, Pickens told council that all permits to sell alcohol in the village expire June 1.
“If someone has a problem with one of the establishments you can file a complaint,” he said.
In an effort to keep the village’s trees looking nice Bob Roach, zoning inspector, discussed a tree planting project in front of areas where trees have been removed in the village.
To buy 10 trees to start, he said, the cost could be up to $1,500.
“There’s a whole lot of being cut down,” Roach said. “It’s sad that people don’t replace them … Trees are important to the community.”
Roach said residents could request the trees. However, Councilman Dale Watson and the mayor said the village needs to consider the issue further, and explore what liability the village would have for the maintenance of said trees.
“I think trees are very important,” Watson said. “I’m not sure what we need to do exactly. If we cut down a great big tree that’s in a bad spot, why would we put one back there … Also, if we replace a tree, does that make us responsible for trimming that tree eight or nine years down the road … I am just asking questions. We don’t want to be responsible to trim it.”
Roach said there are people in the village willing to plant the trees, to make it as easy as possible.
In other business Jamestown Police Chief Roger Tyree updated council on the recent ALICE training with Greeneview Local Schools — school shooting drills his department was a part of that “went well.”
At the end of the meeting, council went into executive session to discuss compensation of a public employee.
Council’s next regular meeting is at 7 p.m. Monday, April 17.
Brian Evans is a freelance reporter. He can be reached at email@example.com