Funding secured to repair Wellsville intersections

LISBON –Four Wellsville intersections in bad shape from heavy truck traffic will be repaired next year after Columbiana County commissioners were successful in securing the final piece of funding for the project.

County Port Authority Executive Director Penny Traina told commissioners on Wednesday the application for a federal critical infrastructure grant has been funded by the Ohio Development Services Agency. Commissioners had sought $445,783 on behalf of Wellsville and were awarded $334,800.

The grant for Wellsville will be used to repair intersections on Clark and Aten avenues and 17th and Main streets. Village officials blame truck traffic to and from seven major businesses in town as the reason for the deteriorated condition of the streets, and commissioners agreed to help.

In securing the critical infrastructure grant, the county has lined up more than enough funding — a combined $706,487 — for the project, which is expected to cost an estimated $525,183.

The other funding sources are:

— $79,400 from the commissioners’ 2019 federal CDBG allocation, which served as the local match needed to qualify for the critical infrastructure grant.

— $169,287 grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation, obtained by the county Transportation Improvement District board.

— $123,000 from the county’s small business revolving loan fund (RLF) program.

County Development Director Tad Herold said excess funds will be used to repair sections of Clark, Aten and Main streets that have been impacted by the heavy truck traffic. The combined cost of repairing the intersections and streets is an estimated $1.2 million, he said.

Traina said commissioners felt Wellsville should participate financially in the project, which is why the village will have to repay the $123,000 RLF loan.

“They have to have some ownership and be part of the solution,” she said.

Wellsville Terminal and Marathon Petroleum have been identified as the companies with the truck traffic most responsible for the wear and tear on village streets. The other five companies occupy the port authority riverfront industrial park and they exit off state Route 7 and travel a 0.4-mile stretch of Clark Avenue, which the port authority spent $536,000 to upgrade in 2013.

According to Herold, work is likely to begin sometime next spring because some of the funding cannot be spent until 2019.

Traina and Herold said the grant is the result of the closer working relationship that has resulted from having the port authority and development department share the same office space and staff, which began in May.

“We’re able to do a better job (together) than we’ve been doing separately,” Herold said.