Council accepts NOPEC grant to update city hall HVAC

Cary Ashby • Mar 23, 2019 at 10:00 PM

Norwalk city council passed a resolution Tuesday to accept a grant to update the air conditioning and heating system in city hall.

The Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) energized community grant is worth $51,258. Norwalk Public Works Director Josh Snyder said the contractor wants to start working in April — or May at the latest — when city hall won’t need either the air conditioning and heating.

In 2018, a $54,000 NOPEC grant to Norwalk paid for new lighting in the police department/municipal court building and the large fans in the Ernsthausen Aquatic Center.

Also, Snyder informed council that the regional emergency management agency (EMA) has notified his office that Norwalk can’t use brownfield money to do an assessment on the former fire station, 42 Whittlesey Ave. The engineer said the Build Act has changed its eligibility and because the city has owned the station for so long, Norwalk can’t use grant funds for an assessment.

Brownfield-targeted properties are unused/vacant and underused buildings. The goal is for the structures to get their “highest and best use.” 

A city consultant performed assessments at four Norwalk sites in 2018: Norwalk Bargain Center, 499 U.S. 250; Price family property, 115-117 Jefferson St.; Emerald FX, 502 Industrial Parkway; and the former Clark gas station, 78 Benedict Ave.

When a council member asked Snyder about any interest in securing a tenant for the former fire station, the engineer said there were three parties interested, with one of them only being interested in leasing the upstairs.

“There could be two separate tenants,” Snyder added.

Also, Norwalk Mayor Rob Duncan encouraged council members to go the new city website, https://www.norwalkoh.com

“It’s live now. If you’d like to check it out and give us feedback, that would be great,” he said.

In addition, Duncan told council that the city is working with the Huron County EMA “about the best way to move forward” with several warning sirens that aren’t working. The replacement cost is unknown.

“That’s part of the research we’re doing,” Duncan said.

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