The local three-county board seeking to expand the U.S. 30 expressway has selected MS Consultants to study how to fund the hundreds of millions of dollars that will be needed for the project.
Carroll, Columbiana and Stark Regional Transportation Improvement Project board
Friday meeting at Minerva Public Library
KEY ACTION: Selected MS Consultants from five applicants to examine the best options for obtaining hundreds of millions of dollars to pay for the expansion of the U.S. 30 four-lane expressway from Canton to Route 11 in Columbiana County.
DISCUSSION Stark County Engineer Keith Bennett will lead a committee to discuss with MS the scope of the project and the fee the agency would be paid. The cost is expected to be more than $100,000. The RTIP has $250,000 in state funding that state Rep. Kirk Schuring, R-Jackson Township, got the Ohio General Assembly to appropriate in the state budget bill.
Bennett said he expects these discussions would last until spring, and it could take a year for MS to complete the study.
Schuring said he wants MS to look at what economic development would have occurred if past proposed infrastructure funding had been able to obtain a special form of tax incremental financing. That’s where money is borrowed to pay for construction and repaid with additional sales, income and property tax revenue in excess of whatever was collected before construction. Under legislation that Schuring got passed into law, every entity with jurisdiction over a proposed site for this financing would have to approve such financing.
- Discussed the board applying for state funding through the Transportation Review Advisory Council. Columbiana County Engineer Bert Dawson, the board’s chairman, asked if the RTIP is successful in obtaining federal grant funding whether that funding would fulfill the local match requirement to get TRAC funding. Schuring said he would try to find out. The next TRAC application deadline is in late spring.
- Carroll County Commissioner Robert Wirkner said the Carroll County commissioners had approved their county contributing $1,000 to a petty cash fund for the RTIP. Stark County Auditor Alan Harold, who’s the RTIP’s fiscal officer, said he was seeking to determine whether the RTIP should get an outside bank account to hold such funds or deposit the money with the Stark County treasurer. He clarified that the Stark County prosecutor serves as the RTIP’s legal counsel.
UP NEXT: Meets at 9 a.m. Feb. 16 at the Minerva Public Library.