Written by MARK JAEGER
Wednesday, 19 February 2014 17:41
Officials concerned 30% match would make buying properties too expensive
Village of Fredonia officials like the idea of clearing up some nagging floodplain problems by tapping the state’s Municipal Flood Control grant program.
However, they aren’t too fond of the financial strings attached to the program.
Public Works Director Roger Strohm has proposed several projects that could be funded by the grant, including the purchase of two properties that are routinely threatened by flooding.
They include Mr. Fritz’s, 504 Fredonia Ave., a bar owned by Village Trustee Fritz Buchholtz, and an adjacent rental property at 508 Fredonia Ave., owned by Roman Uhlig.
The buildings share a common wall. According to village assessment records, the tavern property — which was built in 1960 — is assessed at $160,000 and the Uhlig property — which dates to 1900 — is valued $107,000.
The two properties generate about $4,000 in property taxes, according to village records.
Strohm said the purchases fit the state Department of Natural Resources goal of removing structures and obstructions in the 100-year floodplain.
The state is making $3.4 million available for this year’s grant cycle, with a single applicant limited to no more than $625,000 in funding.
Applications are due March 17, but before that paperwork can be filed, appraisals are required of the two properties targeted for purchase.
The Public Works Committee learned last week that those appraisals will cost $2,100 each.
Committee members were concerned that the village could get stuck with the appraisal cost with no assurance they would receive the grant money.
Of even greater concern to officials, however, is the requirement that the village pay 30% of the purchase cost.
That matching fund requirement was largely ignored by trustees when Strohm first talked about the grant program in December.
“I don’t know if we want to invest that kind of money. I thought it was going to be a 100% grant award from the state,” Village President Chuck Lapicola said.
Two other projects Strohm earmarked for grant applications include resizing the culvert under Fredonia Avenue at the railroad tracks and the purchase of land in the floodplain along the proposed bike trail.
The Village Board is expected to consider whether it should pursue the grant at its meeting on Thursday, Feb. 20.