Tuesday, February 09, 1999

State aid boosts road projects

N. College Hill, Deer Park helped

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Two road projects in North College Hill and Deer Park are expected to move ahead this summer, thanks to state help. Officials in both cities said funding from the State Capital Improvement Program (SCIP), which is expected to award grants to each community this summer, will make the projects happen now.

        The District 2 Integrating Committee, made up of local officials, recommended Friday that projects in those communities be given almost $600,000 in SCIP grants to repair and reconstruct streets there.

        The recommendations have been made to the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC), which administers the SCIP program and grants. Such recommendations are generally approved by the commission.

        North College Hill is asking for almost $447,000 for work on Ellen Avenue and Marilyn Lane, while Deer Park is seeking $129,000 for work on Blue Ash Road.

        The work on Ellen Avenue and a portion of Marilyn, which runs off Hamilton Avenue, will involve reconstructing the streets and putting in new storm sewers, said Jerry Thamann, North College Hill's safety service director.

        The construction project probably would take a full year, with work beginning sometime in the summer and continuing into the year 2000.

        Blue Ash Road in Deer Park has been in bad shape and in need of work for the past few years, said David O'Leary, Deer Park safety service director. This past winter so far, he added, has left it “in horrible shape.”

        Mr. O'Leary said a good portion of Blue Ash Road will be worked on, from Galbraith Road north to the corporation line, and from Matson Avenue south to the corporation line.

        Workers will take out the existing surface, do resurfacing, doing some curb repair and installing new curbs.

        Both Mr. Thamann and Mr. O'Leary said the work could not be done without help from the state, which is a large part of the appeal of the SCIP program. It allows communities to do road and infrastructure work that is extensive and would otherwise gobble up entire budgets.

        “We couldn't afford it,” said Mr. Thamann, of North College Hill, where the city's road levy generates about $460,000 a year. “We'd be borrowing money left and right.”

        “We're very excited about getting it,” Mr. O'Leary said of the SCIP grant, which will pay for $129,000 of of the $350,000 project. “It's not feasible for us to do something of this size without some type of assistance.”

        North College Hill and Deer Park are two of seven communities in Hamilton County that could receive about $13.6 million in SCIP grants and loans this summer.

        Each year, about $120 million in SCIP grants and $60 million in Local Transportation Improvement Program grants are distributed to communities throughout the state.

        SCIP money is generated through the sale of bonds, while LTIP money comes from the state gasoline tax.


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