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Posted: 12/25/13

Ray board discusses how
to spend CDBG funds

by STACY SOBOTKA
Observer Special Writer
      A discussion of how the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds can be spent came up at the Ray Township Board of Trustees meeting Dec. 17.
       Township Clerk Paula Artman prepared an outline of suggestions for the board to look over. One suggestion was to use a portion of the fund to improve the senior center's walking path by making it handicap accessible. Another was to create a handicap accessible fishing dock at the Clinton River.
       "What we have to prove is how many seniors use our path now," said Artman. "We would have to present it as an extension to a previous program that we received funding for."
       Handicap accessible projects are permitted under Community Development Block Grant guidelines as long as they are brick and mortar projects.
       Also at the meeting, Township Treasurer Doug Stier also announced a new law that has passed affecting disabled veterans. On Nov. 12, a new law went into effect, allowing veterans who are 100 percent certified disabled to be exempt from paying property taxes.
       "We only have two registered 100 percent veterans here (in Ray Township)," he said. "We don't know their names. All they (the Veterans Administration) gave us were their ZIP codes."
       Their spouses will also benefit from this law.
       "If it's done before the veteran passes, it still continues on for the spouse," said Stier. "If it happens after, she gets nothing."
       Stier told the board and the audience if they knew the names of the veterans, to have them contact the township to get more information and apply for this benefit.
       During public comments, Ray Township Historical Society President Terry Goike presented a proposal from Romeo-based design firm Earth Environments for the completion of the township library's tin ceiling, which has been an eyesore due to different colored tiles installed, and tiles installed incorrectly.
       "At this time of year that promotes peace on earth and joy of giving, my hope is that compromises can be made and the project completed so the residents can enjoy the benefits of our community," she said.
       Township Supervisor Charlie Bohm commented on the tin ceiling project at the Ray Township Library.
       "I received an email from Amanda (Osborne) of the Library Committee and she informed me that the library had committed $4,100 of their operating money to completing the library ceiling, and I strongly object to that," he said. "I don't believe that a budget adjustment should be made to curtail whatever is being curtailed at the library in order to provide money for that ceiling."
       In other business, the Board of Trustees:
       • Approved the continuation of recycling services on the first Saturday of the month from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a $6 fee pre-paid at the Township Hall or Fire Department or $10 at the gate.
       • Approved the adoption of the 2014 Federal Poverty Guidelines.
       • Approved the 2014 Poverty Asset Test.
       • Approved the appointment of Mel Dodson to the Wage and Salary Committee.


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