The city of Elyria is looking to obtain a new fluoride feeder system.
During a City Council Utilities, Safety and Environment committee meeting, members discussed applying for a grant to help offset the costs for a new system.
Samuel Jacob, superintendent of the water system, asked the committee for permission to apply for a grant from the Ohio Department of Health Fluoride Assistance Program or FAP.
The program would pay for up to 50% of the costs for the new system, Jacob said.
Total cost at around $70,000, the new system would become the primary and the old would be used as backup, he said.
Councilman Kenny Oswald asked Jacob how he finds grants that pertain to his department.
“A lot of this is either you got to know where to look, or you have a connection or know somebody with the EPA, and they give you a heads up and you start applying,” Jacob said.
The grant is a reimbursement which means the city will pay the total out of pocket and the Ohio Department of Health will pay back half.
Jacob said the process is lengthy.
If the city applies for the grant, it could take anywhere from a week to a couple months to hear back from the state health department.
Additionally, the city is applying for a second round of EPA funding for the lead service line replacement.
The city applied for the first round of funding a few months ago and is expecting to hear back soon.
Although Elyria has not received a decision, Jacob said he still wanted to apply for the second round as soon as possible.
“We were interested in getting our application in as soon as possible,” he said.
Jacob said there will be a meeting with city engineer John Schneider to see which houses are going to get there water taps replaced within the next few years.
If the funding is approved, Jacob said his department can service 200 to 300 houses depending on the costs of the bids for the project.
The decisions to choose which houses to fix are based on the water mains that have lead surfaces between the water main and the shutoff box, Jacob said.
Even if the city receives both rounds of funding, there still will be at least 1,000 more houses that will need to be fixed.
• See Ohio Fact Sheet on Fluoride dated November 8, 2018