By Marlena Ballinger

Managing Editor

OTTAWA - The village of Ottawa was recently awarded two separate grants for $98,563.28 to study the processing of manure and the beginning efforts of regionalizing water and sewer services throughout the county. The grants were recently awarded to the village through the State of Ohio's Innovative funds.

According to the grant application, the feasibility study for processing manure will allow the village to collaborate with area farmers to store animal wastes. The study will also investigate the possibility of wholesaling the end product of the manure processing.

The application spelled out the reason for why the village has looked into the processing of cow manure. With the dairy industry finding it increasingly difficult to store and apply animal wastes, the village was asked to utilize its "mothballed" waste treatment facility to run pilot testing on the processing of the manure. After many extended studies the village was forced to quit the study and apply for a grant to pay for a feasibility study.

According to municipal director, Jack Williams, the village applied for this grant last year and was finally awarded enough funds to continue with a study that will allow village officials to work with Bowling Green State University to address nutrient run-off and e-coli issues along with land application of manure. Economically, the university will look at the economic impact of the process.

The village also received a grant for nearly $100,000 for the studying of a regionalized water and sewer system. This grant will also pay for a feasibility study and the village will also work with Bowling Green State University throughout the study process.

According to the grant application, the grant will determine whether a regionalized water and sewer system will benefit the small municipalities located within Putnam County. The application said that with the "increasing regulations and concerns of both the water and waste water industry, (the village) is investigating the regionalization of (water and sewer systems) in cooperation with other communities."

Last week many county officials met to discuss the possibility of beginning the process for which to study a regionalized water system. A group of officials have been meeting monthly to assess other ways in which the county can regionalize services such as village equipment and fire equipment.

Officials will be meeting this week to determine the use of the funds recently awarded.