Community Crossing funds awarded to local communities

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Putnam County communities in 2018 will see the benefits of nearly $2.3 million in local road project funds awarded through the state’s Next Level Roads: Community Crossings Initiative Wednesday afternoon.

Overall, Putnam Community Crossing funds awarded total $2,229,317 with Putnam County ($541,623) and the City of Greencastle ($520,500) topping the list locally. Both the county and city, however, had applied for $1 million in funding for 2018 projects.

Local towns receiving Community Crossings funds were: Roachdale, $469,710; Bainbridge, $302,635; Russellville, $225,000; and Cloverdale, $169,849.

Cities and counties had to put up a 50 percent match to obtain the grant funds, while towns of less than 10,000 population needed to have a 25 percent match.

The City of Greencastle’s $520,500 award is enough to cover its top two priority projects, Mayor Bill Dory told the Banner Graphic, listing the reconstruction of Indianapolis Road (road widening, overlay, curb and gutter and adding sidewalks to one side) between the Wood Street and Percy Julian Drive as No. 1 and resurfacing of Franklin Street from Jackson Street to Indianapolis Road as No. 2.

City projects that did not receive Community Crossings funds despite being applied for were:

-- Fifth Street, Indianapolis Road to Avenue E, for overlay, add curb and gutter on one side and storm drain work, $480,000 total cost.

-- College Avenue, from Washington Street to Shadowlawn Avenue, spot milling and patch, spot overlay, add curbs, crack and seal coat, $255,000 total.

-- Capital Drive, from State Road 240 to County Road 250 East (Edgewood Lake Road) for pavement preservation to seal cracks and treat the surface, $66,000 total cost.

“We figured we were probably not going to get everything,” Mayor Dory said, noting the more competitive nature of the grant cycle this time around. “We may have to scale back or put off some things to next year.”

Dory said the city will still need to re-evaluate what funding is available, but noted that the 50 percent local matching portions were allocated for the Fifth Street, College Avenue and Capital Drive projects so it’s within reason at least some of that work could still get done in 2018 even without Community Crossing money.

Meanwhile, Putnam County’s $541,623 funds generally will be used to repair pavement issues throughout the county.

At Cloverdale Clerk-Treasurer Cheryl Galloway said that the $169,849 in funds the town has been awarded will be used to reimburse work on Beagle Club Road and Water Street, and allow work to be done on U-Drive, Logan and South streets.

Overall, Indiana Gov. Eric J. Holcomb and INDOT Commissioner Joe McGuinness announced that a combined $150 million in state-matching funds for local road projects was awarded to 396 Indiana cities, towns and counties through the Next Level Roads: Community Crossings Initiative.

“Superior local roads are a key factor in maintaining Indiana’s reputation as the Crossroads of America,” Gov. Holcomb said. “I am encouraged that a record number of communities applied for and received funds this year, and I’m grateful to lawmakers for increasing the funding to sustain the community crossings initiative.”

In just its second year, the Community Crossings Initiative has awarded nearly $300 million in state matching funds to local governments for road construction projects. This year, 467 communities applied for funds – a 48 percent increase from 2016 – making this year truly competitive.

“Across Indiana, local communities are recognizing the need to invest in fixing and improving their infrastructure,” INDOT Commissioner McGuinness said. “The projects funded today will help build smoother roads and stronger bridges in every corner of the state.”

Community Crossings was created by the Indiana General Assembly in 2016. Funds for the program are awarded from the state’s local road and bridge matching grant fund. To qualify for funding, local governments must provide local matching funds, 50 percent for larger communities or 25 percent for smaller communities, from a funding source approved for road and bridge construction. They must also submit an INDOT-approved asset management plan for maintaining existing roads and bridges.

State law requires annually that 50 percent of the available matching funds be awarded to communities with a population of 50,000 or fewer. State lawmakers identified long-term funding for Community Crossings as part of House Enrolled Act 1002, passed by the legislature and signed into law by Gov. Holcomb in April.

INDOT estimates $190 million in matching funds will be available for local communities in calendar year 2018.

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