Albion won’t pursue sewer grant this round

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 August 2013 at 12:00 am

Village applies for $500,000 grant for Bullard Park

ALBION – Village trustees Eileen Banker and Pete Sidari went door to door on a recent weekend, trying to convince residents to fill out an income survey to see if the village qualified for a federal grant to replace aging sewers.

Banker and Sidari tried to personally get the surveys after mailings to 83 households went mostly unreturned by those residents. The village needed at least 53 income surveys returned to apply for the grant. But Albion fell far short of that through the mailings and door to door outreach.

The two trustees said they heard good feedback from the few residents who were home and answered the door.

The lack of responses prompted the Village Board to withdraw its plan to seek federal funding for new sewers on portions of Crimson Drive, Caroline Street and East State Street. The board expected it would seek a $600,000 federal grant through the state Consolidated Funding Application process.

To qualify for the funds, the village needed to show that the majority of residents in the target area for the new sewers were low to moderate income.

“We’ll have to try harder next year,” said Mayor Dean Theodorakos. “We’ll try it earlier to get people on board.”

The village submitted one grant application this state grant round. The village is seeking $500,000 from the state for Bullard Park, a project that wasn’t approved last year. Theodorakos believes Albion has a better chance this funding round.

The village spent $20,000 last year upgrading playground equipment at the Pee Wee Park section of Bullard and also has $50,000 in a capitol reserve that could be spent at Bullard. He thinks that shows the village is willing to put some of its own money into the park, and not just rely on state funding.

The village wants to reseed two ball fields, add new playground equipment and carve a 6,400-foot-long hiking trail through the park.