Defiance City Council approved an application Tuesday for state funds to help a new company set up shop.

A related ordinance was one of five legislative items passed by council during its regular session. Council also approved a rate increase for Riverside Cemetery services (see related story).

The economic development-related ordinance allows City Administrator Jeff Leonard to apply for community development block grant (CDBG) funds through the Ohio Department of Development to assist Castlehill Materials, Fort Wayne, with a manufacturing facility at 1459 Quality Drive.

The building is located next to the city’s maintenance facility on Quality Drive, just west of Integrity Drive and north of the city reservoir.

Mayor Mike McCann told The Crescent-News that Castlehill will make exterior siding for homes that resembles stone or masonry. Initially, he said, the company will employ about 10 persons.

The ordinance contains an emergency clause, meaning it becomes law upon the mayor’s signature rather than after the regular 30-day waiting period.

Council hosted a public hearing on the grant request to begin Tuesday’s meeting in which Will Burns of Maumee Valley Planning Organization stated that $400,000 in CDBG money will be sought. This will be matched with $200,000 from the city’s revolving loan fund.

Funds will be used for the purchase of machinery and equipment, and the building at 1459 Quality Drive, according to Burns.

He said the state has $2.5 million to give away for such projects in 2021, with four applications turned in as of last week.

Two other emergency ordinances approved Tuesday allow for the purchase of property at 221 Front St. near Kingsbury Park and at 653 Riverside Avenue on the west bank of the Auglaize River. Both lie in a flood plain.

The Federal Emergency Management (FEMA) and Ohio Emergency Management is covering 87.5% of the funding for the property purchases and demolition of homes there. FEMA’s goal is to lessen flood damage by removing the homes.

The city is picking up the remaining 12 1/2%.

Cost of the Riverside purchase is $94,000 with the city’s share at $11,750 while the Front St. price is $76,078 with the city’s share at $9,509.79.

In other business Tuesday:

• council approved an emergency ordinance allowing the purchase of 0.98 acre near the intersection of Baltimore Road and Atlantic Street. The cost is $70,000. Law Director Sean O’Donnell said the land may be used in the future to provide staging areas for trucks, giving them room to line up if train traffic blocks the Atlantic Street cross.

• scheduled a special session at 5 p.m. on Oct. 26 to discuss proposed 2022 capital projects.

• Ward 1 Councilman Steve Corbitt requested that persons with graphic political signs use common sense and discretion.

• council approved the appointment of Elizabeth Frankart to the city parks board.

• Leonard informed council that the city recently spent $18,500 with R.G. Zachrich, Inc., for the installation of 12 manholes.

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