By Cecilia Fox
Record Herald Writer

Local construction projects dominated Tipp City Council’s agenda at Monday night’s meeting, including the reconstruction of County Road 25-A and the Downtown Utilities Replacement Project.

While the 25-A project is not scheduled to begin until 2015, the first steps have been taken toward the commencement of the much-discussed reconstruction of County Road 25-A. Council approved two resolutions dealing with the project. The first allowed the city manager to enter into an agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation for obtaining the federal funds necessary to complete the first phase of the project.

“The city of Tipp City will act as the local public authority for this project, which means that the city will be responsible for the design, bidding, award, inspection and construction contract administration,” said city manager Jon Crusey.

Phase 1 of the project is involves the widening of County Road 25-A from State Route 571 to Michaels Road from two lanes to five lanes, the construction of storm sewers, the looping of water lines and the relocation and extension of electric lines.

The total cost of the project is $4.3 million, Crusey said. The projected funding for the construction includes a $2,569,600 Federal Surface Transportation Program grant, a $700,000 Ohio Public Works Commission grant and $160,000 from the Miami County Engineer. Combined, these grants will cover 81 percent of the total cost.
“There’s a certain amount of risk involved,” said council member Joe Gibson, expressing concern that, because the Public Works grant has not yet been awarded, funding for the project is uncertain.

According to Crusey, however, he is confident that Tipp City will be awarded the $700,000. The grant will be awarded before the project goes to bid, so if the city does not receive the grant, the council will know before work begins, Crusey said.
The remaining 19 percent of costs would come from in-kind inspection services and the City Electric Fund.

Approximately $750,000 will be charged to the Electric Fund to cover the cost of the relocation and extension of electric lines, as well as constructing and wiring street lights along County Road 25-A. Of this amount, $500,000 was previously budgeted as part of another project, which required the construction of these same electric lines.
The second resolution concerning the County Road 25-A project authorizes the city manager to submit an application to the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission for funding of Phase 2 of the project. If funded, Phase 2 will begin in 2017.
The council also passed a resolution concerning the Downtown Utilities Replacement Project, allowing the city manager to apply for grant funding from the Ohio Public Works Commission.

“The project involves the construction of a new 12-inch water main, replacement/lining of sanitary sewers, construction of an 18-inch storm sewer with catch basins, and the repairing of roadways and sidewalks affected by construction,” Crusey said.

The projected total cost for the project is $2,150,000. If approved, the project will be funded by a $400,000 grant and $1.4 million, 0 percent interest, 20-year loan. In addition to this assistance, the water and sewer funds would each be responsible for $175,000. A water rate increase of 3 percent — meaning an increase of $1.11 a month for the average customer—as well as a 9 percent increase in the distribution portion of the sewer rate—or 90 cents per month — also will be necessary.
The construction will affect Main Street from Fourth Street to First Street. According to Crusey, this project has yet to be designed, so it is uncertain when construction will begin or how it will affect businesses and traffic on Main Street.
Council also approved a resolution re-approving the city’s involvement in the proposed I-75 Exit 69 Southbound Ramp Project.
“Due to a change in the timing of the project, modified project limits, and the widening of northbound ramps, ODOT has requested that revised legislation be adopted by city council,” Crusey said.
The project will replace the two southbound clover leaf ramps with new diamond-style ramps. It also will add a new traffic signal at the southbound ramps and an additional turn lane on the northbound ramp. The estimated cost for this project is $4 million, with a majority of the funding coming from ODOT.

Provided courtesy of the Weekly Record Herald