Sunday, December 10, 2000

State earmarks millions for road work

By Lew Moores
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Twenty-one communities in Hamilton County and the county itself are expected to receive more than $15 million in state grants and loans next summer to pay for road improvements, reconstructions and widenings, work that public officials say would be impossible to accomplish without state money.

        The $15 million will help pay for projects with construction costs totaling more than $23.7 million in the county.

        The District 2 Integrating Committee, composed of local officials from various communities, is recommending the projects to the Ohio Public Works Commission, which administers the State Capital Improvement Program (SCIP) and Local Transportation Improvement Program (LTIP).

        The public works commission generally accepts the recommendations of the integrating committee. This is the 15th round of SCIP and LTIP grants and loans. About 20 percent of the allocation given the county must be made in loans.

        “We have a fair rating system that judges projects on their merits,” said Joe Cottrill of the Hamilton County engineer's office and liaison officer between the integrating committee and the communities. “It does seem to work very well. The communities know that at least they have a fair and equal chance at getting the funds going into it.”

        Among communities getting more than one grant in this round are the city of Cincinnati, Green Township, Delhi Township, Wyoming and Hamilton County.

        Fred Schlimm, Green Township superintendent of roads, said the two grants they've been awarded — $315,000 and $307,000 — would represent about two-thirds of what their road levy generates each year.

        “Saving that kind of money by receiving it in a grant is going to allow us to repair about 20 other roads,” Mr. Schlimm said.

        The SCIP program was authorized by Ohio voters when they approved Issue 2 in 1987, allowing the state to raise the money through the issuance of bonds. LTIP money is generated by the state gasoline tax.

        The county has received more than $209 million in grants and loans since the program began. Each year, the public works commission hands out about $120 million in SCIP money and $60 million in LTIP money throughout the state.

        All of the state's 88 counties are represented by integrating committees, some of them combined. District 10 Integrating Committee represents Butler, Warren, Clermont and Clinton counties. District 10's grants have not been announced.


Olympics here a longshot
A look at the competition for the U.S. bid
Bond Hill uncertain about hosting Olympic Village
PULFER: Taxpayers want the truth
Airport to seek $3 ticket tax
Mental health aid struggles shared
Tobacco growers face hard choices
Wish List donations outpacing '99
Groups help others in a time of need
Portman again steps up for Bush
BRONSON: Marlboros for Gore votes
WILKINSON: Pity the poor vote-counters
- State earmarks millions for road work
List of expected grants and loans
Two charged after attacking two club patrons with swords
Auction yields trove of goods
Chapel reaches out to truckers
CROWLEY: Many wait for shot at Lucas seat
Girls run beyond fun
Kentucky Digest
Local Digest
Northern Kentucky towns' handles rooted in history
Norwood Schools hire treasurer
Residents in Monroe get say on aging school