The Village of Gambier has invested in green energy and other infrastructure improvements with its American Rescue Plan Act allocation.
Gambier received $260,000 in ARPA money, half of it was received in 2021 and the other half arrived this summer.
Council has approved upgrading the water meter reading system for $80,000 to enable the Sensus meters to be read from the office, eliminating the need to drive around the village to obtain the readings. The system includes detection devices that attach to the fire hydrants in an effort to better identify leaks in the distribution system.
The village also spent $215,000 to install 94 solar panels at the wastewater treatment plant, using some
of its own utility funds to support the work that is scheduled to start in September. The village utilized a job contracting proposal through its membership in Sourcewell to undertake the project. McDaniels Construction is doing the build out in coordination with Third Sun Kokosing Solar.
When done, this will be the second solar powered system used in village facilities. A roof-mounted solar system was installed a few years ago on the Community Center and for the past two years it has generated more power in the summer months than what it takes to operate for former elementary school building that houses the village offices, a Head Start program and a library branch.
R.C. Wise, Village Administrator, said Council decided to do two large utility infrastructure improvements with the ARPA money in contrast to funding several initiatives in 2020 with the CARES Act allocation where they helped other private and public entities with the federal money allocated to it during the pandemic.
Gambier was awarded about $135,000 in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and it was spent on public health, preventive measures, telework capabilities and economic aid.
Among the items, the Village spent:
- $19,000 to install automatic door openers for both restrooms and the south exterior door of the Community Center.
- $18,300 was invested in touch-free plumbing fixtures and water fountains in all of the village buildings. $13,800 was spent on the Council chambers for improved social distancing and the installation oftechnology to allow for virtual and hybrid public meetings.
- $41,319 was awarded to Area Development Foundation for them to hand out grants and/or loans toarea businesses that met certain qualifications.
- $5,600 was spent on a partnership with Kenyon College to test and ship COVID-19 samples from thewastewater treatment plant influent, a project that continues today.
- $5,100 was spent on improving interoffice communications and a community message board.
- $5,000 was for a local business loan and hundreds more spent on personal protective equipment and air quality monitors.
Under the time restraints of the CARES Act, the Village referred nearly $13,000 of its allocation back to the County Auditor to help out other local government partners.