No village funds are used to finance the festival, which relies on corporate and private sponsors. At this week’s meeting of Racine Village Council, Hill said since American Municipal Power canceled its proposed coal-fired plant, festival organizers should begin to try and fill that hole by looking for additional sponsors. Hill said festival organizers are already eyeing a headlining act for next year and hope to go with a known, younger country singer with current hits on the music charts to attract even more people.
Council approved a resolution allowing the Syracuse Racine Regional Sewer District the right-of-way, when needed, to complete sewer infrastructure improvements within the village. The resolution is required for one of the grants the SRRSD received on its sewer capital improvement project.
Councilman Tom Reed brought up zoning, saying if the village wants to grow in a manner that is “beneficial” it needs to look at the issue. Reed brought up instances of people leaving unsightly, disabled cars, car parts and other debris in yards as well as mobile homes being permitted anywhere in the village. Reed suggested in the future council might consider zoning an area for mobile homes and require those who are constructing additions or new homes to file for permits to be sure the structures don’t violate zoning ordinances.
Clerk-Treasurer Dave Spencer said the Appalachian Regional Commission grant the village was approved for in the amount of $250,000 is now being issued by the federal government’s HUD office which could mean those funds will not be made available for another four to six months. The money is being used to finance a water line replacement project. Spencer said in order to not slow down the bidding and construction process, if the State of Ohio authorizes it, the village could take out a short-term loan for $250,000 until the grant money is released.
Spencer and Hill said by doing this, even though the village will pay interest on the loan for a short period, it will allow the project to move forward without delay and possibly get more and better bids from contractors. If the project is delayed via waiting on the release of the grant funds, it could mean less contractors will bid on the project because they will already be working on other projects during prime construction months. Racine leaders hope to start the bidding process in January to secure bids.
Spencer said by the time construction begins it’s likely to be about the time the grant funds are released so the loan, at three-percent interest from Home National Bank, would only taken out for a month.
Hill also said the Ohio Department of Transportation is finalizing plans for the lighting project at Star Mill Park and along the walking path, saying 37 lamp posts will be used.