The North Royalton City Council has again voted to expand a current grant program that allows home owners associations to apply for grants in order to help subsidize stormwater-related projects that are deemed to be a nuisance.
Last month, Council voted to increase the scope of the program, increasing the maximum amount a resident could apply for reimbursement. The ordinance was unanimously adopted, introduced by Mayor Larry Antoskiewicz, Ward 2 Council Representative Linda Barath, Ward 1 Council Representative John Nickell, Ward 6 Council Representative Mike Wos and co-sponsored by Council President Paul Marnecheck, that amends the city’s codified ordinances, Part Fourteen Building and Housing Code, Chapter 1481 Storm Water Management, Section 1481.08 Maintenance of Systems, Paragraph (g) in order to encourage the maintenance and upkeep of Storm Water Facilities within the city. The amended section reads as follows:
(g) A property owner, including but not limited to a home owners association, that has been issued a Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District Long-Term Operation and Maintenance Report on behalf of the City Engineer requiring the property owner to take corrective action may be eligible to apply for grant funds to help offset required maintenance related expenses of their storm water management facility. In addition, other owners of adjacent real property may join together and apply for grant funds set forth herein to aid in collaborative corrective action to address any “storm water nuisance” as determined by the City Engineer. Storm water management facility and storm water nuisance grant applications shall be completed and submitted as follows:
“(1) Applications are available on the City’s website under the Engineering Department page.
(2) Completed applications shall be submitted to the City Engineering Department for consideration for the following maintenance activities:
A. Clogged or damaged infrastructure;
B. Dredging and/or sediment removal;
C. Erosion repairs and stabilization;
D. Invasive vegetation removal;
E. Trash and/or debris removal;
F. Safety issues; and
G. Inadequate or improperly graded swales including property grades that have
been modified without permits or fail to meet the original grades as approved by the City.
3. Applications shall be limited to maintenance expenses outlined in the most currently issued Long-Term Operation and Maintenance Report issued by the Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District or costs incurred to effect remedial work as to storm water nuisances.
4. Grant funding shall be limited reimbursement of to a maximum of one-quarter of the total cost associated with the required maintenance or remedial work, not to exceed seven thousand dollars
($7,000) per project per applicant per year as defined above.
5. Applications for grant funding will be reviewed on a “first come, first serve” basis, and available as further limited by City Council funding.
6. Property owners shall be eligible to apply for grant funds only once every three years.
7. 6. Storm water management facilities commenced and/or completed since January 1, 2017 shall be eligible to apply for grant funding.
8. 7. Applications may be denied for incompleteness or lack of sufficient funding; failure to qualify for grant funds is solely determined by the City Engineer.
9. 8. Payment of the grant shall be made only after the satisfactory completion of the required maintenance or remedial work, and upon proof of payment of the entire project cost thereof.
10. 9. The City Engineer’s decision on a grant application can be appealed to the City Law Director. The Law Director’s determination will be in the nature of a moral claim in that it will be final and not subject to appeal.”
In 2020, the program was expanded to include property owners who live in an area that is experiencing certain stormwater problems. The applications for the grants, either from home owners associations or a property owner, will have to be approved by the City Engineer in order to receive funding.
The City receives 25% of the resident’s stormwater fee from the Northeast Regional Sewer District. A program that will subsidize up to 25% of the cost of a stormwater project, up to $7,000 was originally established for home owner associations in 2018. Antoskiewicz said that most of the projects consist of work done on retention basins and creek clean up. Originally, applications for the grants could be made every three years and are distributed on a first come-first serve basis. The amending legislation removes that language to provide for the limited reimbursement of a maximum of one-quarter of the total cost that is associated with the required maintenance or remedial work. It also is not to exceed $7,000 per project, per applicant, per year.
By GLORIA PLEVA KACIK