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Naplate considers community center for parish hall

Naplate officials are looking at possibly using the St. Mary's Catholic Church parish hall as a future community center.

The Catholic Diocese has been in the process of building a grotto at the former site of St. Mary's Catholic Church on Center Street, and Trustee Lloyd Ludwig said the project should be completed soon. The church was demolished last year after the 2017 tornado damaged it beyond repair.

After the 2017 tornado, the village bought St. Mary's Parish Hall.

“I think we paid somewhere in the area of $1 to $10 for the parish hall,” Ludwig said. “I'm not exactly sure but it was really very reasonable. But the building itself needs a lot of work." Deputy Fire Chief Bob Rick said that once the grotto is completed, the village will finish cleaning the hall, a job the Park Board has offered to help with.

“We're looking at exploring the possibility of USDA funds for a community center,” Rick said. “There are big issues with the electrical, heating and air conditioning systems. So after we finish cleaning the building, we'll look into getting USDA help and go from there."

The USDA offers Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant programs for community facilities in rural areas.

Tree problems

A second tree in two weeks has had to be cut down in the village's park, due to falling branches.

“We noticed that four or five branches looked like they were ready to fall off,” Ludwig said, “so we cut them down for preventative reasons. We also discovered a tree by the Veteran's Memorial looks like something has bored into it. So, we're going to be looking into what other tree work needs to be done.”

Events add to Park Board funds

The Annual Art Rick Memorial 14-Inch Men's Softball Tournament was held the first weekend in July, netting profits of $2,185, and the Annual Backus Family Fish Fry event on July 22 added $2,633 to the park board funds. The family has hosted this event for the last three years.

Because Bill Backus is an instrumental part of the event, the village board approved a $50 donation to help defray his gasoline costs.

New water fund account approved

Board members approved a new and separate water fund account with Ottawa Savings Bank that will require signatures of Mayor Gary Mooney and Village Clerk Gerry Kammerer. Kammerer said it was necessary in order to better control the new water maintenance fees that have gone into effect this month.

Because of an aging 1976 pump lift station, the board approved an ordinance amendment in July that would include an additional $10 per user/per month maintenance fee. The additional fee is earmarked for a new lift station with an estimated cost of $50,000. The fee will increase by 3 percent beginning Aug. 1 of every year. In 2019, the fee will be $10.30.

Mooney said the sewer system had backed up, causing the pump to continuously run for 22 hours. Trustee Lloyd Ludwig said the board was considering a $5 per month fee but it would not have been enough.

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