CHARDON — City Council last week approved a $17.7 million five-year capital improvement plan with the vast majority of the money earmarked for infrastructure and land improvements.

City officials said during the Oct. 8 meeting that the plan calls for spending about $3.1 million in 2021.

“A large portion of that, about 56 percent, is tied to the city getting grants and loan funding for those projects,” said Finance Director Mate Rogonjic. “In terms of where the money is being spent, about 82 percent is tied to city infrastructure city street improvements, storm sewer, waterline and sanitary sewer improvements, so that’s something we need to apply for and get to move forward with a lot of the projects.”

Included in the plan is the resurfacing of State Route 44 and U.S. Route 6 estimated to be $2.9 million. The work is scheduled to be engineered in 2023 with construction beginning in 2024, with 64 percent of the construction costs to be funded with federal and state grants.

The realignment of Park Avenue and site distance improvements on Wilson Mills Road estimated at $2.09 million also are included in the plan, to be funded at 80 percent with a federal transportation grant administered by the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency with a majority of the remaining costs funded by the Hidden Glen Residential Incentive District Fund.

Mr. Rogonjic stated that the Park Avenue and Wilson Mills projects have been discussed for several years and were first included in the 2019-23 five-year plan to begin design. “We have been waiting for federal and state funding for the 44/6 routes and were informed of the funding availability late last year, so we included the project in this year’s CIP.”

Street improvements on Park Avenue, storm sewer, waterline and sanitary sewer improvements on Washington Street are also included in the plan scheduled to go to the engineer in 2024 and construction in 2025. The improvements are to be funded by the Ohio Public Works Commission at 80 percent of costs, with a grant of $100,000 and the remainder in loan funding.

“There are federal and state funding opportunities for the road projects, but we have no control on how they prioritize and select projects for funding” Mr. Rogonjic said. “The most consistent funding for road improvements in recent years has been from the Ohio Public Works Commission, but the majority of the funds are loans that have to be paid back, though at no interest cost to the city.”

Also included in the capital improvement plan are plans for significant investment in street and sidewalk maintenance programs and repair of infrastructure. A portion of the costs for these items would need to be further evaluated for implementation based on available funding.

A draft of the plan was reviewed in separate meetings with the Water and Sewer Committee and the Service Committee on Sept. 24.

The next City Council meeting is 6:30 p.m. Nov. 12.

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