Genoa Township has received Ohio Public Works Commission funding for improvements to the Freeman Road and state Route 3 intersection.

Genoa Township has received Ohio Public Works Commission funding for improvements to the Freeman Road and state Route 3 intersection.

Township officials plan to install north and south left-turn lanes on state Route 3. Freeman Road will have no turn lanes. The township also hopes to build a pedestrian signal and a trail from the intersection to Freeman Road Park.

The park sits about 300 yards west of the intersection.

Construction likely will begin in September with a completion date in early 2011, township administrator Paul Wise said.

Wise told trustees at their Jan. 21 meeting that the OPWC had approved up to $323,700 in funding for the project.

The project has a total price tag of about $683,000. The Ohio Department of Transportation has provided $330,000 for construction and engineering, according to the Genoa Township Web site.

The Ohio Public Works Commission grant would pay 90 percent of the remaining balance, Wise said. Genoa Township would pay the remaining $32,370

"This is good news for the township. It's one of the big hurdles we've been waiting on to move ahead with the Freeman Road-Route 3 red light project," Wise said.

Assistant administrator Joe Clase said the project is vital because of safety concerns. The intersection has been the site of many accidents. Close to the site are Foust Elementary School, Genoa Middle School and Northside Fellowship Presbyterian Church, which has a kindergarten and pre-school. All contribute to the traffic volume.

"I just thank our administration for working hard and applying for the grant," trustee Barbara Lewis said. "I'm thrilled that we have the grant."

Trustee Rick Carfagna called word of the OPWC funding "great news."

"I think it's important also to credit not only the staff but the previous board of trustees," he said. "I know that (former) trustee (Gerry) Cotter and (former trustee David) Engleson both did a lot of work to try and make this come to fruition."

Genoa Township officials might get an even better deal. Because the project is "shovel ready"-- meaning all planning and engineering is complete and the project is ready for construction -- officials are seeking money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which would pay for 100 percent of the remaining costs, Wise said.

The ARRA is an economic stimulus package enacted last year by Congress. The money comes from the federal government and is allocated by the states.

If township officials are able to secure ARRA funding, they will decline the grant from the OPWC, Wise said.

"We could turn it back into the funding system for an entity that may need it," he said.