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Council authorizes amended grant application

RONAN — In an advisory vote at a city council meeting on Monday, the Ronan City Council amended and authorized a Treasure State Endowment Program grant application for $500,000.

Originally, engineer Shari Johnson presented the grant application to the city council for the amount of $420,000. 

The council asked Johnson if it was possible to apply for the full amount of $500,000, and Johnson responded that it would be feasible, but she recommended against it. 

“I can tell you why I don’t feel comfortable,” Johnson said. “You don’t know what will happen in 20 years.”

She added that she would be happy to modify the grant proposal in order to request $500,000 instead of $420,000.

The TSEP grant requires a matching amount, which the city plans on receiving through a State Revolving Fund loan for the amount of $500,000. 

The city will make yearly payments of $36,000 from the storm water utility for 20 years. The council estimated that the city will collect $50,000 from the storm water utility every year. The remainder of the funds will be spent on project maintenance. 

The TSEP grant application and preliminary engineering report are due on Friday and Johnson reminded the council that applying for the grant didn’t necessarily ensure the TSEP’s sponsorship of the program. 

“Storm water is not the most competitive,” Johnson said. “Chances are you will competitively rank or you won’t. The selection of your project won’t depend on how much you ask for.”

The city also intends to apply for a $100,000 Department of Natural Resources and Conservation grant. The DNRC grant does not need a matching amount and the application is due on May 15. 

The storm water project would include the start of wetlands and the construction of storm water facilities in one zone of the city. 

Due to a council member’s absence, the city council took an advisory vote and authorized the TSEP grant application for the amended amount of $500,000. Council member Calvin Hardy opposed, but the council passed the resolution.

After being approached by several city employees, Jody Walk from Aflac presented some Aflac plans to city council. The city council recommended that Walk be permitted to make appointments with city clerk Kaylene Melton and the city department heads to discuss different options.

The city council also discussed refunding the open container permit fee for the Ronan Booster Club. The Ronan Booster Club canceled their event on Friday and was refunded the deposit of $100. They requested that the city refund the permit fee of $25. The city approved refunding the $25 on the basis that the club is a non-profit organization. 

Melton reported on the Spring Creek Project, providing the city council with the documentation on sub contractor, contractor and labor fields. Melton reported that Becky Beard has been very efficient in documenting the waste water project for Ronan.

Beard was hired by the city as the Waste Water Project Administrator. 

“Nothing is left to guess work when she is working with us,” Melton said. “I just wanted everyone to know what a wonderful job she has done on the project.”

The next city council meeting is on April 26 at 6 p.m. at the Ronan City Hall.

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