The Licking County Area Transportation Study's technical advisory committee will meet Aug. 10 to try to figure out how to trim $1.3-million from the transportation improvement program's (TIP) budget.

The Licking County Area Transportation Study's technical advisory committee will meet Aug. 10 to try to figure out how to trim $1.3-million from the transportation improvement program's (TIP) budget.

LCATS is the area's designated metropolitan planning organization (MPO) that conducts a continuing, cooperative and comprehensive urban transportation planning process, according to the organization's website. Its primary goal is to utilize federal transportation funds that are available to the area to produce the most efficient transportation system possible.

LCATS' technical advisory committee will meet at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 10, in Room D of the Licking County Administration Building, 20 S. Second St., to review projects for inclusion and balance the budget.

LCATS develops a TIP every two to four years, listing projects that could receive federal and state funding. The TIP provides for two types of funds: Surface Transportation Program funding is used for projects that require standard maintenance, and Congestion Mitigation Air Quality funding requires that projects reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality.

After the committee finalizes the TIP, it sends it to the Ohio Department of Transportation for approval.

LCATS transportation planner Matt Hill said the committee would work to negotiate projects that are on the TIP, which is about $1.3-million over budget.

"There are far more requests for projects than there is funding," Hill said.

In balancing the budget, the committee could move some projects to the next TIP or simply reduce the funding from already planned projects.

Eighteen projects were included from the previous TIP, and 15 new projects were added, Hill said. The next TIP will be for fiscal years 2011-2015, whereas the previous tip was through 2011. The overlap is the reason projects from the previous TIP were included, he said.

"Everything's on the table," Hill said of the negotiation process.

Still, Hill said, it wouldn't be difficult to balance the budget by simply reducing the funding of each project.

"They can each take a little bit of a cut if they choose," Hill said, adding that the committee would make that decision.

Several resurfacing projects are possible for Newark, Heath and Granville.

"This time we have a lot of resurfacings, all over," Hill said.

A reconstruction project for High Street in Hebron also is planned. Hill said the plans include a repaving and a future sidewalk and bike-path project. The plan also includes finding a solution to drainage problems. Construction is expected to begin in 2014.

Two other projects focus on Newark. One involves work on the southern ends of Mount Vernon Road and Hudson Avenue, with construction set for 2015. The second - an intersection improvement for 30th Street at Church Street, is still in the design process, Hill said.

After the Aug. 10 meeting, Hill and other staff members will go over the TIP, making sure each project meets federal and state funding regulations.

"It's a lot of homework for the staff," Hill said.

The committee will review the TIP again in January and by March likely will adopt a final draft to send to ODOT, Hill said.

Susan Wyant, District 5 planning administrator for ODOT, said the TIP needs to fit in with statewide planning.

"We spend time reviewing the TIP to make sure it works with overall planning," she said.