Grant funding to fuel Ferry projects

MARTINS FERRY – The city is looking forward to a series of upcoming renovations and improvements through grant funding.

Development Director Kathy Wade Gagin reported accomplished and ongoing grant research during Monday’s council meeting.

Two grants were submitted to the Jefferson Belmont Solid Waste Authority and the city was awarded 100 percent funding on both. Martins Ferry will receive a total of $6,000 for use on new benches and trash receptacles for Fodor Park, to sponsor the annual clean up day, and to provide a tire recycling program in the city.

The Lions Club also submitted two grants to JBSWA as well. The collaborative effort will include using their $6,000 in funding toward benches in the park.

Mayor Paul Riethmiller added that the grants will allow new park benches and trash receptacles made from recycled material to be installed at Fodor Park, the city park, and the sidewalk.

“We’ve got a total of $12,000 for the grant now,” he said, adding that replacing of park benches should begin this summer. “We’ll start replacing those park benches out by the highway first and work our way in to where the stage is. We’ll be able to replace those wooden benches that are in bad shape. It’ll really spruce the park up.”

In addition, Gagin noted other grants, pre-apps and letters of interest have been submitted, including the Sprout Foundation/Spark Grant of $4,075 for supplies and programming at the recreation center, and the Giving Back Fund in support for the police dog.

Grants or letters of interest that are to be submitted in the coming weeks include Friends of the NRA for the Eddie Eagle Gun Safety Program and costume, and the Land and Water Conservation Development Fund totalling $70,000 for the Crawford Heights playground. Also, a DNR Nature Works grant of $5,000 will cover a planning grant for the playground.

In addition, inquiries have been sent regarding a $300,000 housing rehabilitation grant through the CHIP program. Gagin will also prepare pre-apps for OMEGA for funding through the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Governor’s Office of Appalachia before May 1.

During the prior council meeting, approval was given for the mayor to enter into contract with ODSA if funding is awarded. Approval is required before the submission of the CHIP grant.

In other matters, Gagin noted the Sheet Metal Workers Union Post 33 purchased a parcel of land from the city in 2012 with the intent to turn the parcel into a parking lot for their employees and members in April of 2013. They will coordinate estimates and work dates with the service director as the city moves forward with its own paved parking lot.

DeFrank can be reached at