County evaluates ways to fund roads, bridge
As economic stimulus money may not be available to Leavenworth County from the Mid-America Regional Council, county officials are looking at plan B.
On Thursday the commission discussed the possibility of obtaining funds through the Kansas Department of Transportation’s cut of the $378 million dollars given to Kansas for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
KDOT has some money set aside for projects in district 1, which includes Leavenworth County.
Mike Spickelmier, public works director, suggested using the same projects submitted for MARC. The two projects are the rehabilitation of the ST-48 Bridge over Stranger Creek and overlay of County Road 9.
He said that KDOT had requested a potential match of local funds for the stimulus money. While ARRA money does not require any municipality to match funding, Spickelmier said it might be a good way to secure the projects. The forms brought to the commission included a 10 percent match, but Spickelmier said KDOT usually requests a match of 20 percent.
The rehabilitation of the bridge is estimated to cost $575,000 and the overlay work is estimated to cost $920,000. The county’s potential contributions would be set at approximately $150,000 for a 10 percent match and approximately $300,000 for a 20 percent match.
Commissioner John Flower was not in favor of matching any funds because the ARRA was meant to stimulate the economy, not rearrange priorities.
Spickelmier said that $200,000 was available for improvements on Dempsey Road and delaying that project could open up funding for the local cash match. The Dempsey Road project would be pushed back to the next budget cycle.
Commissioner J.C. Tellefson said that he realized the stimulus package should fund 100 percent of a project, but the increased traffic on CR9 made it a priority.
A motion was made to submit the projects to KDOT with the county willing to match 10 percent of the bridge project and 20 percent of the overlay work, but preferring KDOT would fund 100 percent of the projects.
The motion passed, 2-1, with Commissioner Clyde Graeber dissenting.
In other business Thursday the board:
• Discussed the preliminary interlocal agreement between the county and Tonganoxie over financial participation on County Road 1. The commission unanimously voted in favor of adopting the agreement with a modification to the funding section stating that any remaining balance from Tonganoxie shall be paid by March 30, 2019.
• Unanimously voted in favor of accepting a shared use agreement between Leavenworth County and Johnson County for a communication tower and equipment building near DeSoto.
• Unanimously voted in favor of directing Mick Schwartzkopf, deputy county engineer, to notify the U.S. 24-40 corridor study committee that the county is in favor of advancing 147th Street to remain a fully functional intersection.
• Unanimously voted in favor of approving a joint resolution with cities in Leavenworth County regarding ARRA money and the MARC.
• Unanimously approved a change in policy where travel requests in excess of $1,000 will be reviewed by the commissioners, but anything less than that will be approved at the department head level.
On Monday the board:
• Voted, 2-1, to spend $1,200 out of the special buildings fund to trim trees in front of the Leavenworth County Courthouse. Flower was the dissenting vote.
• Met as the board of Sewer District No. 3 to go into executive session for 10 minutes to discuss the acquisition of real property. Included in the session was David Van Parys, county counselor, and Heather Morgan, county administrator. No action was taken.
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