Greene County commissioners may be getting closer to sorting out the details on how to fund the local match for the $15.8 million U.S. Route 35 superstreet project.
County commissioners are planning to propose Beavercreek city and township pay $250,000 a piece toward the required $1.5 million local match.
The county would cover the remaining $1 million.
“I’m comfortable that we can commit to providing that funding,” said Greene County Administrator Brandon Huddleson to county commissioners during a work session on Thursday. “It’s just a matter of the participation of the others.”
The county would provide funds for the entire local match upfront, and the city and township would have to repay the county, Huddleson said.
Local officials must agree on how to fund the local match for the superstreets, which will be located in the Factory Road and Orchard Lane areas. The Ohio Department of Transportation needs a letter of commitment from the county by Wednesday, Huddleson said.
The funding for the local match funding is one of the last few hurdles the county must overcome. ODOT announced, in July, $5 million had been awarded to the project. The county has applied for another $5 million through ODOT’s Transportation Advisory Council. Preliminary TRAC results indicate the U.S. 35 superstreet project received the highest ranking statewide this year among transportation projects submitted according to an announcement made by Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission earlier this month.
If the ODOT provides the remaining funding needed, the superstreets will be located in the Factory Road and Orchard Lane areas. Superstreets are designed to restrict traffic on secondary roads from making a left turn to access the main highway. Drivers have to make a right turn, then a U-turn. The highway design alternative reduces the amount of time it takes to get through intersections and side streets and speeds up traffic, according to transportation experts.
“It’s a big help,” Anderson said referring to the highway project. “The county benefits countywide.”
Initially the county suggested each jurisdiction pay one-third, or $500,000, of the local match.
Thursday’s work session came two days after city, county and township held a joint work session in Beavercreek on Sept. 22 to discuss how to fund the $1.5 million local match required for the superstreet project. Before the meeting concluded city council members said they would have to discuss how much the city could afford to contribute with three council members who were absent from the meeting.
“That’s a great starting point,” said Beavercreek Mayor Bob Stone. “We appreciate the county’s consideration, but we (the council) still need to talk.
Stone, and other council members, have said they were concerned about contributing one-third of the local match because they have already committed $900,000 to the Shakertown Road extension project.
“To be fair to them, the Shakertown (Road) project did help this project become a reality,” Huddleson said.
Beavercreek Twp. Trustees have said they would consider adding a permissive tax and would be willing to commit revenues from the tax for up to 10 years. Trustees estimate tax would annually generate about $25,000 to $35,000.
“I’m very pleased that the commissioners have given us that extra consideration,” said Beavercreek Twp. Trustee Carol Graff.