Susan Dicken, executive director of Mill Creek MetroParks, said the village plans to apply for a loan through the Ohio EPA's Water Pollution Control Loan Fund, which provides assistance for projects, such as sanitary sewers and water lines. The EPA
then ranks the project according to how much it will improve water quality in the area.
Government entities from all over Ohio will compete for the loan money, Dicken
said the EPA
has a companion program called the Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program that offers political subdivisions a lower-interest loan if they agree to sponsor a grant application aimed at improving the environment.
Park districts cannot sponsor themselves for a grant. Dicken
said in order for the sponsorship loan-grant program to work, the park district's project has to be ranked high enough to get the EPA grant, and Lordstown must get its loan approved.She
said the park needs $1.6 million for its expansion project, noting the grant amount would be determined by the value of Lordstown's loan.
The village estimates the sewer project will cost between $6 million and $10 million and its interest rate could be reduced an additional 0.1 percent if the sponsorship program is approved.The village then would go through the normal bidding process for its sewer project.
‘‘When we approached the village about this sponsorship program, they were extremely receptive and have been a pleasure to work with," Dicken
said Mill Creek MetroParks
wants to purchase 188 acres of land at Tippecanoe and Western Reserve roads in Boardman to preserve approximately 100 acres of Category 3 wetlands located there.
‘‘This is the largest parcel of undeveloped land left in Boardman and it is imperative we obtain it for several reasons.First, to protect the wetlands and natural habitat.Second, to help the park district expand from the Mahoning River to Western Reserve Road," Dicken
‘‘This acquisition will improve the environment, lessen the impact of storm water runoff and assist Boardman with its flooding issues."She
said the park district purchased 117 acres north of this parcel earlier this year.She
said the newest acquisition is planned for 2007 and would bring the Mill Creek MetroParks
total area to 4,300 acres, including the bikeway, creeks, wildlife preserves and experimental farm.Mill Creek Park has a presence in seven townships and three cities in Mahoning County.
Even if the EPA
loan-grant program is not approved, Dicken
said the park district will find alternative funding sources to acquire the property.
‘‘We are turning over every rock to find the money for this acquisition.It is a critical piece of property and it must be saved to preserve the health and welfare of the community," she