Lewisburg to take street inventory


By Kelsey Kimbler - kkimble@registerherald.com



LEWISBURG — The Village of Lewisburg will be taking a street inventory to determine what village streets need work and what areas the village wishes to focus on improving.

Doug Kramer, with Kramer & Associates, met with council during the village’s regular meeting on Thursday, June 21 to discuss the Street Resurfacing Program.

Kramer explained he met with village administrator Jeff Sewert in early spring to complete a street assessment worksheet, which the village is working on. The purpose of the worksheet is to prioritize streets based on need.

The form will be used to determine which projects should be worked on first. At that point, the priorities will be fit into the budget based on estimates from prior work.

Sewert said the village has not focused on street work in the past few years, but they “need to be on top of that.”

Based on the last council meeting, Sewert wanted to bring Kramer in to discuss funding and possible street projects.

Kramer and Sewert have been working on potential funding options for the village. The first option is a loan program through the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) State Infrastructure Bank (SIB).

According to ODOT, they maintain a direct loan and bond financing program for the purpose of developing transportation facilities throughout Ohio. The State Infrastructure Bank shall be used as a method of funding highway, rail, transit, intermodal, and other transportation facilities and projects, which produce revenue to amortize debt while contributing to the connectivity of Ohio’s transportation system and further the goals such as corridor completion, economic development, competitiveness in a global economy, and quality of life.

The Ohio SIB was capitalized with a $40 million authorization of state general revenue funds (GRF) from the Ohio State Legislature, $10 million in state motor fuel tax funds, and $87 million in Federal Title XXIII Highway Funds. Any highway or transit project eligible under Title XXIII, as well as aviation, rail and other inter-modal transportation facilities, is eligible for direct loan funding under the SIB.

ODOT’s objective is to maximize the use of federal and state funds in order to make direct loans to eligible projects. Repayments will be made to ODOT and then re-loaned to subsequent projects, hence creating a SIB revolving loan program. The SIB revolving loan program will increase the number of delivered transportation projects that otherwise would not have been considered due to lack of funding.

Kramer said the Village of Camden used this project to improve their streets when they found themselves in the same situation as Lewisburg.

The second program Kramer suggested is the State Capital Improvement Program (SCIP), which is also called the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) Issue Two Program.

According to OPWC, the State Capital Improvement Program was created in 1987 and renewed in 1995, 2005 and 2014 by amendments creating Sections 2k, 2m, 2p and 2s, Article VIII of the Ohio Constitution. These Constitutional provisions allow the State to use its general revenues as debt support to issue general obligation bonds up to $175 million in fiscal years 2017 to 2021 and $200 million in fiscal years 2022 to 2026. Eligible applicants are counties, cities, villages, townships, and water and sanitary districts. Eligible projects are for improvements to roads, bridges, culverts, water supply systems, wastewater systems, storm water collection systems, and solid waste disposal facilities.

Funding is provided through grants, loans, and loan assistance or local debt support. Grants are available for up to 90 percent of the total project costs for repair/replacement, and up to 50 percent for new/expansion. Loans can be provided for up to 100 percent of the project costs. Grant/loan combinations are also available. There is no minimum or maximum loan amount. The term of the loan cannot exceed the useful life of the project, or thirty years, whichever is less. The minimum term is one year. The District will recommend the rate of interest for each loan in whole percent increments from zero to three percent. Once the project is completed a final amortization schedule is provided requiring payments every January and July until the term of the loan expires. Loans may be paid in full with no prepayment penalty.

“The second program we call Issue Two, because it was Issue Two the first and second time it was voted on. It has been through 32 rounds now and voted on three or four times by citizens of Ohio,” Kramer said. “It is a great program. We use it a lot for clients such as yourself, because it was started by County Engineers and it is the second least complex program we deal with.

“The County Engineer does a review of what we do, but not heavy handed at all. There is no ODOT money in that. This program has been around for 33 years. There are grants, loans, and loan assistance. So there is a loan component to it too. It is not a high interest rate either, but it does retire a little more discipline. You can apply to that in conjunction with the SIB Fund and use the SIB Fund as leverage.”

Before deciding on any or both, the village will first have to complete their street inventory, which Kramer will review, and then the village will have to complete a cost estimate. At that point, according to Sewert, the village can decide if they want to borrow money and can determine how large of a loan to take out.

By Kelsey Kimbler

kkimble@registerherald.com

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH