Toledo residents should be prepared for door-to-door visitors with two simple questions to ask, regarding a city-wide survey for a water plant grant.
Only one problem, no date has been set.
The city council listened to an update on a possible water plant grant and the study being conducted in conjunction with a new water treatment plant at the April 23 meeting. Marty Wymore, executive director of the Region 6 Planning Commission, informed the city of its next step.
Toledo’s current water plant, built in he 1960s and expanded in the mid-1980s is in need of replacement or extensive renovations according to the city engineering firm. Chronicle file photo
"When the city did our sewer project six or seven years ago, one of the funding sources was the community public block grant program," Wymore said. "The city would potentially be eligible for that funding again.
"In order to be eligible for the funding, you'd have to do a city-wide income survey and roughly 30 percent of your households have to be contacted door to door," he said. "It will be important within the next 45 days to establish a date and rain date, notify the public what those dates are and mobilize some volunteers to do this city-wide income survey."
Wymore went on to say 300 households must be surveyed and 51 percent of those must have incomes below the limit to be eligible for the grant. Those limits will be listed on the survey and are dependent upon how many people are living in the household.
He said the two survey questions would ask how many people live in the household and how much income are you bringing in based on the number of occupants. The city staff will be going door-to-door handing out and collecting surveys. No date or time has been set, but the council is considering a weekday evening, Saturday morning or possibly Sunday afternoon. However, that could change.
"Ninety-five percent of the people are very cooperative," Wymore said. "Again, you get a few people who aren't. Usually you tell them what you're up to and they are happy to provide information."
Council members thought the Toledo Fire Department volunteered its time to distribute and collect the survey last time, which was estimated six to eight years ago for a sewer project. City Clerk Julie Wilkerson said she'd ask the fire chief if they could help again.
City Councilman Travis Mullen asked Wymore what the maximum they could receive from the water grant. Wymore told him the maximum is $600,000, which is only a portion of the estimated cost of the project, which is about $2 million, according to David Stoklasa, Toledo city engineer.
"I think back in December, I said somewhere in the area of a couple million," Stoklasa said. "I didn't have a good grasp on it at that time and I still don't. We will refine that as we move forward."
Wymore briefly explained a possible timeline for the project. He said the grant applications are typically due in November or December and awarded in April 2013. Then the project could be bid in August or September, 2013, and the estimated time of construction would be two to three years.
"This is about the only grant program out there for water projects," Wymore said. "I guess it's just a process that we need to go through. I hope we could wrap up the surveys by mid-June before people start taking summer vacations."
In December, Stoklasa told the city council that Toledo's 46-year old water treatment building was deteriorated and well beyond the 20-25 years in age his engineering firm, Snyder and Associates, would consider normal for such a building. He proposed an engineering study of the city water system, which costs $27,800 and is still being conducted.
The plant is located on the northwest corner of. South County Road (U.S. Highway 63) and West Carleton. The study passed with a 4-1 vote by the city council, with former councilman Dan Ferris voting against it.
"Our rate of progress has been relatively slow," Stoklasa said. "We did find, during our review of the city records, there wasn't much in the way of water quality data to go from. So we asked the city to take additonal samples and I think we're still waiting on the sample results. That's been going on two months or so, but we're expecting to get those back shortly. We would, of course, bring that to council before any submission."