County will support plans for stimulus

For a Marion County city, or the county itself, to get some of the federal stimulus funds for a street or road project is going to be akin to winning a long-shot lottery ticket, members of the Marion County Commission concluded by the end of their Monday meeting.

But Commission Chairman Dan Holub observed, ?Hey, you have to buy a ticket before you can win.?

That?s a bit of what the county commission was doing by signing on to support projects to help Marion and Hillsboro, looking at the county?s own road needs, and looking at other cities such as Peabody and Goessel that still may be coming with stimulus proposals of their own.

The bet was that Marion County will hit the jackpot on at least one or two road infrastructure projects.

Deciding to see all entries through to the end, commissioners passed a motion by Commissioner Randy Dallke to to do anything the county can within its revenues to help cities carry through on stimulus projects.

The stimulus funds are coming as grants through the Kansas Department of Trans?por?t?ation. With $4 million designated for 16 counties, including Marion, Hillsboro City Administrator Larry Paine noted that the odds for any one project being approved are low.

This is especially so because the expense of things such as road resurfacing make costs of nearly $250,000 to $1 million per project common, he and the commissioners said.

?There may not be enough to go around, but we?ve got to try,? said Commissioner Bob Hein.

Despite the odds, the commissioners approved a letter of support for Hillsboro to get $421,000 for resurfacing of Ash Street from Third to Grand streets.

Late in the meeting, they approved paying $21,000 of local cost sharing?with the city of Marion also paying $21,000?to add to $168,000 of the KDOT federal funding to put a 2-inch asphalt resurface on Cedar Street.

City Administrator David Mayfield said the city council was expected to pass the measure Monday evening.

Road and Bridge Director John Summerville said estimates from the engineering firm Kirkham-Michael on the county?s own stimulus project are coming in.

It includes about $1.684 million for a 2-inch asphalt overlay on 190th between Hillsboro and Marion, the highest-traffic county road, and $1.991 million for 6 inches of asphalt on four miles of road from Tampa to Kansas Highway 15, where the surface was removed for reconstruction.

Summerville said KDOT officials were telling him that the odds of receiving money are greater on the Tampa project.

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