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Piketon set back on sewer plant project

By BRET BEVENS
Southern Ohio Today

PIKETON – Piketon Village Council heard good news and bad news about the sewer plant project at Monday’s regular meeting.

            Engineer Kent Bryant, of CT Consultants, indicated the village was not granted the principal forgiveness on the loan for the sewer plant liked it had hoped for. The goal of providing principal forgiveness is to help Ohio communities and homeowners that are least able to afford public health/water quality improvements.

            Bryant explained there are two categories a project can be put in when applying for principal forgiveness on a loan from the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund. The “Regional” category only had nine communities eligible for forgiveness while the “General” category had more than 120.

Piketon had been in the “General” category, but was moved to the “Regional” category. Bids for projects in the “Regional” category are accepted six months later.

            “Being in the ‘Regional’ (category), we’re in the right group. We could be bidding as soon as December 2021 or January 2022,” Bryant said. “We stand a good chance of getting those (principal forgiveness) funds next year. It probably sets us back by about six months.”

            Bryant thought there were some positives that came in the findings.           

            Bryant said it does help the village on the design phase. The village can tweak or change or upgrade the plans and determine exactly what it wants and submit even better plans to the state, next year.

            “It gives us a little more time to refine the design and make it as efficient as we can,” Bryant said.

            In other news, the council passed an ordinance to setup a Tax Increment Financial District for Piketon Square.

            “The TIF freezes the property tax rate in now and as improvements are made the property assessment goes up,” Mayor Billy Spencer said.

             Spencer said the county and other recipients will get the taxes based on the rate now for the next 10 years, except for the village and the Scioto Valley Local School District.

            “The village gets 75 percent and the school gets 25 of the increase of the assessment for 10 years,” Spencer said.

            The village can use the money to improve streets in the area or infrastructure only in the area of the TIF District, which is the Piketon Square.

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