Archive for Wednesday, March 25, 2009

KDOT gives stimulus money to county

March 25, 2009

It appears Leavenworth County will receive some stimulus money after all.

After the Mid-America Regional Council bypassed the county for any of the $24 million in funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Kansas Department of Transportation announced Tuesday it would be giving the county $1.28 million for various projects.

“At this point in time I’m happy to get anything,” City Administrator Mike Yanez said.

Of the $11.3 million set aside from KDOT’s remaining pot of $34.7 million, $512,567 will go to Leavenworth for storm sewers and $286,000 for overlay of 147th Street in Lansing.

Tonganoxie did not receive any money for the projects it submitted to MARC, but received $23,800 for a $33,300 pedestrian streetlight and signal to replace the current traffic lights at U.S. Highway 24-40 and Northstar Drive. Traffic lights will be installed at U.S. 24-40 and Main Street by the end of the year as part of a $911,000 project to make improvements to that intersection and at U.S. 24-40 and Laming Road. KDOT will fund $600,000 of the cost of the improvements.

The city had originally asked MARC for $321,000 for funding to replace the Pleasant Street bridge, but it was not selected. Yanez said the city didn’t ask KDOT for any stimulus money for the project because KDOT recently told the city it would have 80 percent of the construction cost available to the city by 2010.

“If we were to try to jump the gun then that could move us down the pecking order for money,” Yanez said about why the city didn’t apply for stimulus funding on the bridge project.

Yanez said they city is also waiting to hear back about some stimulus money from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for grants or low-interest loans to complete the third phase of Fourth Street and to make improvements on Second and Cox streets.

The county will be receiving $460,000 for a $575,000 project to re-deck the ST-48, a bridge over Stranger Creek.

Leavenworth County Commissioner John Flower said he was extremely happy that KDOT had chosen six projects from the county out of the 19 projects from the 17 counties that make up District One.

“Now we can divert that money into doing other projects like putting chip seal on Dempsey (Road),” he said.

KDOT selected 77 projects totaling $34.7 million to receive federal stimulus funding for road and bridge improvements throughout Kansas. Statewide, KDOT received 422 requests for projects totaling $275 million. In District One, there were 130 requests received totaling $91.6 million.

“With many worthy projects submitted for consideration, the final selection was very difficult,” said KDOT Deputy Secretary Jerry Younger said in a press release. “But I am confident that the projects selected will enhance local transportation networks and give a boost to the economies in each of the project locations.”

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