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* News Release *
 
Monday, April 21, 2014
For Immediate Release

COUNTY ENGINEER ENDORSES STATE ISSUE 1

Butler County Engineer Greg Wilkens issues the following statement in support of State Issue 1:

On May 6th, Butler County and Ohio voters will be asked to vote on State Issue 1, renewal of the State Capital Improvements Program (SCIP). This program has efficiently provided direct financial assistance to local governments for improvements to existing infrastructure. It has been critical to Butler County where steady and sustained growth has dictated that we spend road and bridge funds on expanding the roadway grid while maintaining what we already have. Administered by the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC), the SCIP program has enabled your Butler County Engineer's Office (BCEO) to replace aging bridges and culverts, fix dangerous intersections, and repair and widen overburdened roads. This frees up more local funds that can be used as match money for major federal grants to help us build a safer, more efficient transportation system that accommodates today's needs.

It is imperative that the State Capital Improvement Program continue. The BCEO and local governments critically need State Issue 1 to continue funding infrastructure improvements that include not only roads and bridges, but also storm and sanitary sewer systems, solid waste treatment systems, and water supply facilities.

Over $49 million in OPWC funds have been availed to Butler County and its communities since the last renewal of this program in 2005, and more than $137 million total since its inception, resulting in $337 million in constructed projects. The Butler County Engineer's Office alone has received $14.4 million in OPWC funding since the program's last renewal, enabling us to complete $37 million in road and bridge projects, including:

  • Garner Road bridge replacement (total construction cost = $1,086,281)
  • River Road bridge replacement (total construction cost = $534,612)
  • Hamilton Mason Road roundabout at Liberty Fairfield Road / Vinnedge Road (total construction cost = $958,351)
  • Rialto Road bridge replacement (total construction cost = $457,624)
  • Black Road bridge replacement(total construction cost = $872,450)
  • North B Street bridge replacement (total construction cost = $1,404,278)
  • Ross Hanover Road bridge replacement (total construction cost = $546,580)
  • Beissinger Road safety improvements (total construction cost = $602,644)
  • Hamilton Eaton Road slip repairs along Seven Mile Creek (total construction cost = $157,187)

The Butler County Engineer's Office has utilized SCIP money to develop numerous bridge replacement packages that have helped reduce the number of load-restricted bridges on our roadways. This funding source also allows us to expedite bridge replacements more quickly than through the Federal process. We can program several SCIP-funded bridge projects at any given time and reasonably expect funds to be available within six to twelve months. Federal funds, while critical for large projects, can take several years to leverage.

We are also able to use SCIP funds as local match money for Federal grants. This is how we were able to build the following projects:

  • Butler Warren Road improvement from Tylersville Road to Bethany Road (total construction cost = $9,225,709)
  • Liberty Fairfield Road bridge replacement over the Great Miami River (total construction cost = $9,931,442)
  • Ohio 4 at Liberty Fairfield Road intersection improvement (total construction cost = $2,191,405)
  • Tylersville Road improvement from Lakota Hills Drive to Tyler's Place Boulevard (total construction cost = $2,605,787)

Safer roads, smoother traffic flow, and easier access that allow businesses to thrive. Butler County has clearly benefitted from the SCIP program and stands to gain even more if Issue 1 passes, thereby extending for ten more years this crucial funding source. And the best part is, it does not raise taxes but simply authorizes the State to issue bonds for important programs. Funds for repayment of Issue 1 bonds are already built into Ohio's future budgets so again, Issue 1 will not increase taxes. Moreover, programs made possible by Issue 1 will generate new revenues for state and local governments by helping expand our job base statewide.

Issue 1 will also make Ohio and its local communities more economically competitive by providing grants to local governments to prepare job ready sites for new businesses and job creation.

Issue 1 enjoys strong bi-partisan support in the Ohio General Assembly as well as from county commissioners, mayors, township trustees, county engineers, and business and labor organizations.

Join me, your Butler County Engineer, in support of State Issue 1 on May 6th. Please vote YES on Issue 1.

Gregory J. Wilkens, P.E., P.S.
Butler County Engineer

# # #

For more information contact:

Chris Petrocy, BCEO Public Information Supervisor
Greg Wilkens, P.E., P.S., Butler County Engineer
Phone 513.867.5744 • Fax 513.867.5849


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