The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local News

May 12, 2009

Madison County may have $5 million in stimulus road funding

ANDERSON — Madison County officials expect about $5 million in federal stimulus money to resurface miles of roads by the end of the summer construction season.

As county revenue has declined, so has the ability to maintain roads. Money from President Barack Obama’s $787 billion economic recovery plan will help fill the gap.

“This is an opportunity for us to do a little catch-up work,” said Madison County Commissioner Paul Wilson. “We fully intend to take advantage of it.”

The funds are not among planned projects that will directly receive stimulus dollars. Madison County received no stimulus funding for planned projects, according to an Associated Press story Tuesday.

Money coming to the county through the stimulus package will be funneled through local and state transportation agencies.

The lion’s share of money -- $3.2 million -- will be administered through the Madison County Council of Governments. Executive Director Jerry Bridges said the council’s policy board will meet Thursday to amend the county’s Transportation Improvement Program. “We just asked jurisdictions that might be eligible for funding to submit projects to us,” Bridges said. Decisions on which projects will be done will come later.

Bridges said projects that get funded will be those that can be started quickly. “Primarily what most of the stimulus money can be used for is resurfacing.

“You couldn’t start a project from scratch for a new road ... The funds can only be used for construction,” Bridges said.

While the Council of Governments begins prioritizing how best to spend money for road work, County Engineer Charles Leser said three projects to resurface about 10 miles of county roads await final approval.

Portions of old Indiana 132, Eighth Street and County Road 100 East are in line for $1.8 million from stimulus funds administered through the Indiana Department of Transportation.

Leser said final approval on those jobs should come later this month. Bids could be solicited in July and contracts awarded in August.

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