Though good news was scarce Tuesday when Johnstown Village Council took a first look at next year's budget, village manager Sarah Phillips announced that there will be financial help from the county for road improvements in 2011.

Though good news was scarce Tuesday when Johnstown Village Council took a first look at next year's budget, village manager Sarah Phillips announced that there will be financial help from the county for road improvements in 2011.

Phillips said the Licking County Area Transportation Study (LCATS) has agreed to finance $220,000 of a $1.2-million project to improve the intersection of U.S. Route 62 and state Route 37.

Johnstown had already been approved for the $1.2-million Safety Grant through the Federal Highway Act, administered through the Ohio Department of Transportation.

The village was one of only two selected in District 5. Local governments submitted 29 projects with a cost of more than $41-million during this round of applications

The state has agreed to pay $880,000 of the project, which includes new traffic signals at the intersection, dedicated turn lanes in all directions, repaving, replacement of overhead utilities underground, streetscape upgrades and consolidated parking, among other improvements.

"The worst-case scenario is that (Johnstown) pays $100,000," Phillips said. "ODOT has agreed to do the engineering for the project."

She noted that there is a small section near the clock, where right-of-way needs to be given to the state.

"In some instances, you have to exchange property," she said. "You have to give a sliver of property for a sliver. Hopefully, that won't happen. You're already guaranteed the money."

In council action, an ordinance was approved to annex property into the Industrial Park. The legislation was a reapplication due to a filing error in the previous application.

In other discussion, Johnstown resident and businessman Marvin Block complimented Phillips on her work in the village.

She will leave her duties as village manager in mid-December to take a position as city manager in Rolling Meadows, Ill.

"She got quite a lot accomplished here," Block said. "She was always easy to work with. I know quite a few of the (village) employees and they said she was firm and fair. I'll really miss you."

Block also praised the village's street department for its snow removal efforts.

"I think they do a tremendous job with what they have to work with," he said.

The next village council meeting is set for 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 2 in council chambers.