By Allen Howard
The Cincinnati Enquirer
FAIRFAX - The Clean Ohio Fund will provide $315,000 to the village of Fairfax for the Little Duck Creek flood project, Gov. Bob Taft announced Wednesday.
However, the project is stalled because neither the village nor the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has its share of the project cost.
The total project will cost $7 million, with the corps responsible for $5 million and the village, $2 million. The corps will not know until Congress passes its 2003 budget if it will get its share for the project.
Michael Miller of the Ohio Public Works Commission said the $315,000 grant was approved last year, but was announced Wednesday.
The village, meanwhile, has to wait and see if its request for $2 million in Community Development Block Grants is approved.
Village Administrator Jennifer Kaminer said the village applied for block grant funds in November through Hamilton County's Community Development Department. Grants are federal money filtered through a local agency.
"The grant would be for $2 million over three years," Mrs. Kaminer said. "If we get the first block this year and if the corps gets its money we can start the project. Otherwise, we will have to continue to search for other options. We may consider a tax levy to get the money."
If the village and the corps do not have the money by June this year, they will have to ask for a six-month extension of the grant. If by the end of the year the they don't have their shares of the project cost, the $315,000 has to be returned, Mr. Miller said.
The project calls for restoring land along Little Duck Creek to its function as a floodplain. It will involve the purchase and demolition of 42 homes that were damaged by the July 2001 floods.
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