Johnstown Independent

Phase 1 road repairs

Johnstown's budget drops from $3.4M to $2.4M

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The budget to fix some of Johnstown's roads has been reduced by about $1 million.

Village officials, working with consulting firm CH2M Hill, had planned for repairs to Concord Road, South Kasson Street, West Jersey Street and North Oregon Street, which were labeled as priorities.

Village Council, however, determined the $3.4 million price tag for the so-called phase 1 was too burdensome and decided to scrap North Oregon and West Jersey repairs for now.

Council on April 15 voted unanimously to scale back the plans to $2.4 million and reprioritize, authorizing Village Manager Jim Lenner to execute the first phase of the village's "transportation asset management plan."

"After some discussion, they scaled back the plan, and we'll only be doing Concord Road and West Jersey Street, as well as the maintenance plan," Lenner told ThisWeek. "So they struck North Oregon and West Jersey from phase 1 initially, and if we are able to secure grant funding for both, which we will attempt to do, then they will revisit it."

Lenner, who supported the earlier plan, said he wasn't disappointed in the decision and that he's just glad work finally could begin on what he called a "long and hard" process.

"It's not disappointing," he said. "It's just the first step in trying to get our roads in acceptable conditions with the limited funding that we have. It's still exciting that we're going to be able to do something here over the next three or four years. And we'll continue to look at all roads and continue to search for options that can help us supplement that initial phase."

The plan is predicated on a loan application for $600,000 that, Lenner said, he was "pretty sure" the village would receive. The loan, one of many used to secure the money for the project, would fund the Concord Road improvements.

The entire phase-1 project is expected to cost $2.4 million over the course of three or four years, Lenner said, and none of the money will be paid back immediately.

"We're going to borrow notes or bonds and then use our capital-improvement funds to refund those loans over 20 years," he said. "It will be all loans or grants, nothing up front."

Roads will be stripped down to the foundation, said Lenner, who said water has made its way underneath and has made them unstable.

No major roadwork will occur until at least next year, though. The only work residents will see this year is crack-sealing.

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