An agreement with BP-Husky Refining, and the start of significant capital improvement projects were among the 2010 highlights in Oregon last year.
The city last December approved a 30-year Tax Increment Financing (TIF) agreement with BP-Husky Refining that will help the finance capital improvement projects in the area.
Taxes attributable to increased property values at BP would be set aside in a fund to finance public improvements within the boundaries of the TIF zone.
The agreement requires BP to make the school district whole so it would not lose tax revenue.
Potential public improvement projects that would benefit from the TIF include the relocation of Cedar Point Road, and improvements to the Amolsch-Driftmeyer Ditch. Cedar Point Road would be moved further from the refinery to the south between Otter Creek and Wynn roads. The project, estimated to cost $10 million to $20 million, may also involve some relocation of DuPont Road. Two phases of improvements to the ditch would cost close to $5 million.
An “escape clause” notes that the TIF agreement ceases to be binding if the city and company fail to reach a satisfactory development agreement by the end of 2011.
Last year, the city worked on the Wheeling Street widening project between Navarre Avenue and Brown Road, and the Big Ditch project on Stadium Road. Both projects have continued on to this year.
The $10 million Wheeling Street widening project mainly involves widening the road further to the east between Brown and Navarre.
The road work was begun over a year ago. In February, the city plans to close the Wheeling Street Bridge over I-280 for seven to nine months. The city plans to use Dearborn, between Wheeling and Navarre, as a detour.
Three-fourths of the project is funded through the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT). The city also received an additional $1.3 million of Federal stimulus money for the project.
The $800,000 Big Ditch project entails enclosing the ditch along Stadium Road. To compensate for closing the ditch, the city had to provide stream and wetland mitigation. To do that, the city provided open channels or streams through South Shore Park, and along a few farmers’ fields along Stadium Road. Most of the work is completed. The city will still be enclosing the ditch along Stadium through the winter and spring months. It’s scheduled for completion in June.
Additional projects last year include the reconstruction of a two mile stretch of Otter Creek Road, which serves the city’s industrial area. The city was awarded $3 million in federal transportation stimulus funds as a priority transportation project through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for reconstructing and repaving Otter Creek Road and Bay Shore Road between Corduroy and Wynn roads. The project included new underdrains, berm, storm culverts, site grading, and right-of-way restoration on Otter Creek Road. The project did not increase the number of lanes, but provided two to four feet of paved berms in various locations.
The city also constructed a 2 million gallon elevated water tower at the corner of Wynn and Corduroy roads. The city decided to build a second water tower to improve water pressure throughout the city. The first water tower, off Navarre Avenue and Coy Road, holds 1 million gallons. The new tank provides water line improvements, two million gallons of reserve water and constant pressure through all the lines in the city, especially in the industrial area. City officials expect it to meet the demands of any prospective business that needs a lot of water and pressure.
The Pearson Park Connector Bikeway Project was underway last year. The 5,300-foot long, 10-foot wide asphalt surface path will extend from Lallendorf to Wynn roads on the north side of Starr Avenue on Pearson Metropark property. Various bikeway phases will ultimately connect Maumee Bay State Park with Pearson Metropark The project is funded with a Transportation Enhancement Grant, which pays for 80 percent of construction. Oregon and the Toledo Area Metroparks will each pay half of the local share of the project. Estimated construction costs for the project is $380,000.
The scope of the project includes a “zig-zag” railroad crossing of the Norfolk Southern Railroad, drainage, pedestrian ramps, pavement markings, storm culverts, grading, seeding, signage and maintenance of traffic.
The city also upgraded the intersection of Coy Road and Starr Avenue with a new traffic signal. The intersection was widened to accommodate left turn lanes on all approaches and a right turn lane for eastbound Starr Avenue at Coy Road.
The city was awarded $194,201 in funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Federal Stimulus Program and $350,000 in funding from the Federal Highway Administration through the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program for the project.
The project also included pedestrian crossings with ADA ramps at the intersection, connecting sidewalks, catch basin modifications, and utility relocations.