Tuesday, January 16, 2001

State will cover road work - this time


Future Colerain projects in doubt

By Lew Moores
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COLERAIN TWP. — The township will begin a reconstruction project on a residential street using a state grant that could get harder to come by on a limited road work budget.

        The work on Dolphin Drive will involve total replacement of curbs and pavement on more than 600 feet of the street that runs off Pippin Road.

        The township was awarded close to $445,000 in a State Capital Improvement Program grant to pay for the $556,000 project.

        Dennis Chapman,township public works director, said leveraging these state grants will get harder because residents twice voted down road levies, money that helped provide the match to secure the grants.

        “We have needs that are still there that SCIP grants would cover,” Mr. Chapman said.

        “But what are we not going to be doing (so we can) put in our match? Somewhere it's going to be less.”

        A road levy had provided the township with about one-third of its road budget.

        But residents voted down a replacement levy in November 1999 and a similar levy in March 2000.

        That left no road levy, which had been generating about $845,000 a year.

        Money from the entire road budget had been used to provide the match for getting grants for road work.

        But on a smaller budget, some projects and road work will either go undone or be delayed.

        Trustee Keith Corman said the township will consider trying to put another road levy on a future ballot.

        A road levy was not on the November 2000 ballot in the township.

        “Right now it's no ques tion that it's probably a necessity,” Mr. Corman said.

        “When we'll do it, that's another story.”

        With less money for roads, the SCIP grant is essential to undertaking this kind of project, Mr. Chapman said.

        The work could be done, but other work would neglected or delayed.

        “With our budget, with the loss of the road levy, it's even that much harder to do what we were able to do two years ago,” Mr. Chapman said.

        The township is one of 21 communities in Hamilton County that will receive SCIP money — about $15 million — next summer.

        Mr. Chapman said work on Dolphin Drive could begin late this year, but is more likely to begin in 2002.

       



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