Toronto completes big water projects

Mayor John Geddis of Toronto deserves a salute for keeping the county’s smaller of two cities moving forward.

While Steubenville continually struggles with its budget and making ends meet, Toronto has quietly kept on going with a tighter belt.

And, it continues to achieve big projects when necessary.

Case in point: A $2 million project to replace city water lines is getting started later this summer without breaking the bank or strapping all of the cost on city water customers.

The reason: Geddis helped put together a varied funding package to pay for the improvement, including grants from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Ohio Public Works Commission and a Community Development Block Grant.

The grants total $850,000, leaving the city to obtain loans for the remainder.

Those include a $195,000 zero interest Ohio Public Works Commission loan, a 2 percent loan for $663,000 from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency with principal forgiveness of $284,000.

Indeed, Geddis received a commendation from Triad Engineering, the company that is designing theproject, noting that many communities “do not have a leader who is both knowledgeable and energetic enough to attain a similar funding package.”

Geddis has decades of experience in Toronto city government and that includes decades of working on various public works grants.

It’s an example of experience at work that other communities would do well to follow.