Hilliard city officials were celebrating Tuesday after learning the city stands to receive an additional $1-million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 funds.

Hilliard city officials were celebrating Tuesday after learning the city stands to receive an additional $1-million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 funds.

Hilliard was one of the big winners when the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) announced its revised draft list for $28-million in federal economic stimulus transportation funds being administered by the commission.

MORPC spokeswoman Laura Koprowski said Hilliard is in line for $1-million for the Avery Road-Northwest Parkway Intersection Improvement Project.

Mayor Don Schonhardt praised MORPC's leadership for its efforts to distribute the funds as fairly as possible among its member communities.

"We're pleased that MORPC heard the concern of its membership and considered a reallocation that, at least from my perspective, was far more equitable for the region by distributing these funds to a number of projects," Schonhardt said.

"I think this is more clearly consistent with the goals of the federal government to try to stimulate economic development. That's what we advanced and we're pleased to see that the intersection project is being considered now along with the potential for us to get some resurfacing funding."

In MORPC's initial draft project list, Hilliard was in line for $193,746 in economic stimulus funds for road resurfacing. Schonhardt said he believes that amount remains unchanged.
Hilliard public service director Clyde R. Seidle said he met with MORPC staff members after the initial draft list was released and urged them to consider the Avery Road-Northwest Parkway Intersection Improvement Project.

"We actually sat down with them and talked to them and pointed out that we thought part of this process would allow us to federalize this project," Seidle said. "It will cost us a little bit of time and a little bit of money locally, but what we will pick up is the intersection work will be eligible for federal aid."

Seidle estimated the federal funds would cover approximately 40 percent of the total intersection construction costs.

MORPC's second draft of projects increases the number of communities receiving funds to 12. Modifications can be made on the list until it is approved at MORPC's board meeting April 16.

MORPC is continuing public involvement opportunities through written comments that will be accepted through April 9 at 5 p.m. Comments should be submitted to Robert Lawler, Director of Transportation, Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, 111 Liberty St., Suite 100, Columbus 43215 or sent to tip@morpc.org.

The revised list of projects was selected from more than 150 eligible requests in MORPC's transportation planning area of Franklin and Delaware counties and portions of Fairfield and Licking counties. Projects were recommended for funding based on meeting the criteria of being "shovel-ready," deemed eligible for funding, ability to complete the project on time and job creation.

MORPC identified projects in three categories: "Fix-it-First," multimodal, and ability to provide long-term benefit and investment in the region.