The Ottawa County Transit Board plans to hire a design firm within a month to make plans for a new vehicle storage facility that is receiving federal stimulus funding.
Bill Lowe, director of the Ottawa County Transportation Agency, said contract bids for the 27,500-square-foot facility could be opened by September or October.
He said design plans will cost about $350,000 and construction will be about $3.5 million.
In addition, the transit board is receiving $75,000 in stimulus funding for scheduling/dispatching software; $510,000 for five 35-foot buses, and $158,059 for vehicle maintenance.
The storage facility will be constructed at the OCTA parking lot off N. Toussaint South Road near Oak Harbor and will incorporate energy-efficient systems in its construction, Mr. Lowe said, including wind turbine and solar power, and underfloor heating.
“We are looking at being 100 percent energy independent with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification,” he said. “We want to have a facility that is less expensive to operate than it currently is and eats up as little as possible of our operating revenue.”
The facility design will also include a rain water reclamation system.
The agency maintains a fleet of about 30 vehicles.
Contracts for the software package and the new buses must be completed by June 29, Mr. Lowe said.
A major repair project for the Billman Road Bridge in Ottawa County could start early this summer if the paperwork associated with the stimulus funding can be completed soon, said David Brunkhorst, county engineer.
The county has received $338,200 through the Ohio Department of Transportation’s allocation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for the project – one of four infrastructure proposals the county engineer submitted for funding consideration.
“If we can move things along we could have contract bids out by June,” Mr. Brunkhorst said, adding he’s had discussions with ODOT after it was announced by the state the project was approved for funding.
The 57-foot bridge spans Cedar Creek in Allen Township and was constructed in 1957 and renovated in the early 1970s.
Mr. Brunkhorst said the stimulus funding would cover the entire planned project, which will include replacing most of the steel superstructure and repairing some of the concrete abutments.
The bridge will be completely closed to traffic during repairs.
Gov. Ted Strickland said 149 transportation infrastructure projects in the state have been prioritized for full or partial funding from the recovery act.
An estimated 21,257 jobs will be created or retained through the stimulus projects.
Meet with Murray
State Representative Dennis Murray will hold a district-wide town hall meeting for residents of the 80th House District April 7 at 7 p.m. at the Genoa Public Library, 612 West Street.
Residents are invited to share their concerns and questions.