More grants possible for Garfield bridge project

By Drew Stambaugh -

An update on the Garfield Avenue Bridge project and the creation of the new standing committee were among the items discussed at last Monday’s Swanton Village Council meeting.

Administrator Rosanna Hoelzle and Jim Recker of the public works department recently met with engineers from DGL Consulting Engineers regarding the Garfield Avenue Bridge.

They discussed the possibility of securing more grants to help pay for the project. Hoelzle said an Ohio Public Works Commission grant is possible.

“I had asked them to do more research,” she said. “I believe that we would be a very good candidate for an OPWC grant.”

Hoelzle added that the cost of the project is currently estimated to be between $1 million and $1.3 million. A grant already secured is worth about $850,000.

“I believe we can apply, and if the village will contribute, we will be able to fund the majority of that project with grants. So DGL is going to help us facilitate that,” said Hoelzle.

A proposal with cost estimates and timelines for the project will be presented to council at the May 9 meeting.

Maintenance of the bridge was slated to close Garfield Avenue between Main Street and Elton Parkway yesterday between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Also at the meeting, council passed the first reading of an ordinance to change the rules of council to create a Personnel Committee. Three readings are required for the ordinance.

“The proposed Personnel Committee would advise the Village of Swanton Council on matters relating to personnel policies and practices, compensation and benefits, labor relations, employee relations, staffing, and organizational structure,” said Hoelzle.

It was decided that all members of council would be on the Personnel Committee. The hope is to have the first meeting on May 9 following the regular council meeting.

Several personnel items were also approved at the council meeting. Council accepted the resignation of Anthony Bernal from the police department. Part-time Patrolman Lee Kusz was promoted to full-time to replace him.

The resignation of Laurie Ward from Swanton Fire and Rescue after 25 years was also accepted.

The contract of Rick Schantz with the water department was extended until May 27. His contract originally expired April 15, but due to the recent passing of village employee Mike Forché, he will stay on at two days a week until May 13, then as needed until May 27.

Other business

• Village council voted to waive the water and sewer tap fees for a Habitat for Humanity project. A new home will be constructed at 121 Bassett Ave. for a local family.

• After reports of vehicles parked in an alley off Hallett Avenue, village officials posted signs indicating that parking is prohibited. The property is owned by the village and there is no parking permitted in an alley.

• Mayor Ann Roth reported that she recently spoke to Congressman Bob Latta regarding EPA issues and the possibility of having tax liens removed from the property at 113-115 Main St. The building on the property was demolished last year after it partially collapsed.

By Drew Stambaugh

Drew Stambaugh can be reached at 419-335-2010 or on Twitter at Swan_Enterprise

Drew Stambaugh can be reached at 419-335-2010 or on Twitter at Swan_Enterprise