Columbiana loses out on funding for storm sewers

LISBON — Columbiana County officials say they will reapply for a federal grant to help Columbiana with a storm sewer project after the city’s initial application was not among those funded by the state.

Commissioners learned Wednesday they had been awarded a $334,800 federal critical infrastructure grant for repair of four major intersections in Wellsville damaged by heavy truck traffic.

Commissioners also applied at the same time for a $300,000 grant under the same program but its application was not funded by the Ohio Development Services Agency, according to county Development Director Tad Herold.

“The short story is it was not funded this time around, but we’ve been advised it would make a good application for the next round,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s a guarantee, but (the state) suggested we at least reapply.”

The deadline to do so is Nov. 16, and Herold said commissioners intend to again apply on Columbiana’s behalf.

The $300,000 critical infrastructure grant was being sought to help Columbiana install a series of storm sewers benefiting 147 households in the vicinity of North, Pearl, West Salem, Northwest and North Middle streets. The total cost is an estimated $2.2 million, and commissioners are already contributing $100,000 toward the project from the county’s 2019 federal CDBG allocation.

Herold said the state told them to seek funding for both projects, even though he knew the chances of both being funded was unlikely.

“We knew it would’ve been unprecedented if we got both at the same time,” he said.