NORTH ROYALTON – The city is applying for a $150,000 grant, the maximum amount offered through the county, to repair the remainder of concrete road and joint reconstruction needed in the Industrial Park.
City Engineer Mark Schmitzer said the city just submitted an application through the Cuyahoga County Community Development Municipal Grant Program, which is limited to urban county communities requesting money for a community development need related to the health and welfare of the community.
The Industrial Park falls within one of the city’s improvement target areas, making the project eligible. He said a strong application is one in which 75 percent of the funds are spent and requested for reimbursement prior to September next year.
“We put a construction schedule together and anticipate having 100 percent completed before then, which would make the application even stronger,” Schmitzer said.
This grant would enable the city to pick up where it left off this summer with concrete road reconstruction in the park. The service department spent four months replacing and repairing concrete slabs and joints along York Alpha and York Delta drives primarily.
Though the work was fairly straightforward, it was comprehensive and pulled men and time from other projects throughout its duration. Obtaining the grant would allow the city to hire a contractor to conduct the remaining work needed along York Theta and the western portion of York Alpha.
“What we did last year not only pulled personnel off other projects, but it pulled monies away from other work that needed to be done,” Schmitzer said. “It’s not cost effective for us to be spending our own money and guys that could be doing a lot of other things. This is work that is more meant for a contractor to do.”
Not only this, but Mayor Bob Stefanik and Ward 4 Councilman Paul Marnecheck both said this grant is also an investment that will only help retain and attract jobs and bolster the commercial tax base.
“We invested heavily into the infrastructure this year, and we are looking to finish the project next year with the help of this grant. It’s important that we invest in the infrastructure in our Industrial Park to not only keep the current business but to attract new to some of the last remaining parcels there,” the mayor said.
“I’m always in favor of grants because the amount of money we receive in grants is the same amount we can put toward other vital and important projects,” Marnecheck added. “This is investing in our community. The more jobs, the stronger commercial tax base, the less we have to rely on residents and their taxes.”
Ward 3 Councilman Dan Langshaw agreed, calling the Industrial Park a vital part of the city economy. The park lies in his ward.
“The work that the service department did in house this past year was greatly welcomed by the business community. Also it has helped make the area more attractive for additional economic development and investment, which is positive news for our city. It would be great to see the remaining areas of the Industrial Park that need road improvements completed. The more roads we can repair citywide is in the best interest of the entire city infrastructure,” he said.
The city is expected to learn sometime in January whether it has been awarded the grant.