The Delaware County commission-ers on June 21 approved applications for community development block grants to fund projects valued at $183,000 and on June 24 received bids for demolition of 11 decrepit properties under the Neighborhood Stabilization Pro-gram.

The Delaware County commission-ers on June 21 approved applications for community development block grants to fund projects valued at $183,000 and on June 24 received bids for demolition of 11 decrepit properties under the Neighborhood Stabilization Pro-gram.

About 90 percent of the project costs would be funded by the block grants, which are federal government subsidies administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Among the projects included in the county's application are street improvements in the village of Ashley, valued at $50,000, 100 percent funded by the grants, and sidewalk improvements in the village of Ostrander, valued at $75,000, with $63,000 funded by the grants.

Other amounts sought as part of the grants include $25,000 of a total $30,000 to Family Promise, a public service and welfare nonprofit, and $6,000 toward fair housing in the county.

The application also seeks $21,000 in general administrative overhead on the $166,000 total.

"The state requires us to hold a hearing each time we do a grant," said Dottie Brown, county economic coordinator. "It should be awarded to us by Sept. 1."

Commissioners received bids for the demolition of 4841 County Home Road and properties at 116 N. Sandusky St., 57 Stilson St., 319 London Road, 96 and 100 E. William St., 9732 Dublin Road, 1961 U.S. Route 23S, 540 and 542 Olde Washington Road and 129 E. Pawnee St.

Bids were received in three groups ranging from a low bid of $24,000 from Bauman Enterprises to a high bid of $232,000 from Loewendick & Sons.

"This money is in addition to the (money used to demolish the former) Delaware Hotel," said interim administrator Deb Martin.

Commissioner Tommy Thompson defended the grants against charges that the money constituted misallocation of tax dollars.

"It's good we have these monies available for local projects," Thompson said. "Once in a while we get folks out there who say, Why are you doing this, why are you doing that, using our taxpayer dollars?

"Well, No. 1, they are dollars that come into Delaware County from some-place else. No. 2, when we are looking at property such as the Delaware Hotel coming down, it was foreclosed on, it's neighborhood stabilization money, and we need to keep re-emphasizing that if Delaware County does not use those monies, if we don't request and use those monies, they will go someplace else.

"It's a foreclosed property. The owner is not making any money on it. The city isn't making any money on it, and the county isn't making any money on it.

"We are fortunate that the dollars are available to get rid of an eyesore. We need to explain to our constituents ... that it's not their local tax dollars, it's dollars sent from the state, from the feds that are coming back to be used in Delaware County."