The state will funnel at least $3.5-million into Licking County this year through loans and grants from the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC).

The state will funnel at least $3.5-million into Licking County this year through loans and grants from the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC).

Susan Spiker, OPWC grants coordinator for Ohio District 17, said the state offered twice as much money this year through the OPWC's State Capital Improvement Program (SCIP) and changed the deadline so some projects could be done earlier as part of the governor's economic stimulus package.
"It moved that schedule up by five months," she said.

The state is funding eight projects with $3,531,856 and is considering two more projects which are requesting $1,258,200. The eight projects that have been funded include everything from road repairs to bridge replacement and sewer-system upgrades.

Harrison Township trustees learned that state funding would help them repair the stream bank of the south fork of the Licking River, which runs parallel to Refugee Road.

Trustee Ray Foor said the river bank has slipped in that area and has caused erosion near the road.

"We're not concerned about the safety of the road (now)," Foor said. "But we want to prevent anything from deteriorating further."

The piece of Refugee near the river bank slippage is between Outville and York roads.

That project is expected to cost $96,550. The state is contributing $81,250 to the project.

The state also will help Newark repave 10 streets. Last year, Newark contributed capital-improvements money and increased its license-plate tax to help pave more streets that are in poor condition, according to Newark Mayor Bob Diebold.

The streets the city looks to pave with state help in the spring are as follows:

Sixth Street, between West Church and West Locust streets and between West Locust and Granville Street. Wilson Street, between Sixth and Union streets. North Williams Street, between West Main and West Church streets. South Williams Street, between West Main and Maholm streets, between Maholm and the railroad tracks and between Grant Street and Cooper Avenue. Riley Street, between 21st Street and South Williams. West Locust, between North Fifth and North 10th streets. North 10th, between West Locust and West Church. Everett Avenue, between North Buena Vista and North Cedar streets and from North Buena Vista to the bridge over the north fork of the Licking River. Oakwood Avenue, between East Main Street and the railroad tracks. Allen Street, between East Main and Henderson streets.
Newark is receiving $577,935 in grants for the project, which is expected to cost $875,660.

The other road projects in Licking County to receive funding are as follows:

Parkside Drive improvements in Johnstown: Spiker said this is the final phase of a project to redo streets and infrastructure in the Rolling Meadows subdivision. The state is contributing $159,788 in loans to the village. The total cost of the project is $213,000. Township Road 20 repairs in Burlington Township: The state is contributing $344,517 in grants for the $459,969 project. Improvements to Dana and Loper roads in Mary Ann Township: The state is giving $580,902 in grants for the $691,550 project.
The OPWC money is helping to repair two bridges in Licking County: the Cable Road bridge in Pataskala and a bridge on Marne Road in Madison Township.
Pataskala City Council had discussed closing the Cable Road bridge and one other if it could not find funding for repairs. The state is contributing $361,309 in grants and $120,436 in loans for the $507,100 Cable Road project.

The bridge on Marne Road already has been reduced to 50 percent of its load limit, prohibiting access by fire trucks. It is 1.8 miles east of the Newark city limits. The state is contributing 376,576 to the $448,300 project. The project also includes some paving on Marne Road.

The final project to receive funding is an upgrade to the Southwest Licking Community Water and Sewer District's pump station at York and Refugee roads. The state is contributing $400,000 in grants and $529,143 in loans for the $1,029,143 project.

Two other projects awaiting funding confirmation are related to water and sewer issues. Buckeye Lake is waiting to hear if it will receive $1,125,000 for the installation of a village-wide water system, and the village of Alexandria is waiting to hear if it will receive $133,200 in state funding for stormwater improvements.

Spiker said those two projects could be announced by Feb. 24.