A trio of townships in Ottawa County’s west end has pooled efforts to get funding to fix two key roads.
Allen, Benton and Carroll townships have pitched in to improve portions of Martin-Williston Road and Opfer-Lentz Road north of Ohio 579.
The three, led by Benton Township, have applied for an Issue 1 grant and/or zero interest loan to pay for the costs of improvements, according to Gino Monaco, of the Ottawa County Sanitary Engineering Department, who sits on the local grant committee review board.
The combined project cost would be $371,734 to repair 1.04 miles of Martin-Williston Road and to wedge-pave 1.25 miles on Opfer-Lentz Road, according to the Local Transportation Improvement Project grant application.
The townships have applied for a grant of $185,867. Their contribution would be a 50 percent match that would be split three ways, amounting to more than $62,000 for each.
Trustees Scott Everhardt and Craig Blausey voted in favor of the joint application, according to township minutes posted on the Allen Township website. Trustee Ernest Cottrell was against it.
This proposed project and other area submissions were recently reviewed by a local committee and now head to the district level for review in November.
The township roads project received a third place priority rating locally, behind a Port Clinton city project and a Genoa streets project, Monaco said.
At the district level, the project competes with those submitted from nine other counties for a portion of the estimated $3 million pot.
The Village of Genoa is seeking $295,000 for the Phase 2 reconstruction of Washington Street. They’ve also applied for a zero interest loan of $213,450 for Phase 5 of the Northwest Area Storm Sewer Project.
Ottawa County’s size is not a determiner in the competition. Projects are judged on merit and need.
“Ottawa County – considering how small we are – we’ve done pretty well in the past,” Monaco said.
Larger communities in the past attempted to sway criteria to be weighted on a per capita basis. Had that happened, Ottawa County would most likely fall on the losing end because of its high number of seasonal homes and infrastructure that often feeds tourist-related businesses, Monaco said.
The townships’ alliance also increases their project’s chances.
“Benton Township acted as the lead then the other two townships joined them,” Monaco said.
“By combining, they become more competitive.”