$6.2 million in federal grants, aid

Published 8:02 pm Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Butler County has invested $6.2 million into the county’s infrastructure since 2004, according to numbers released by the road and engineering department on Monday.

Over 90 percent of the funding was through federal grants and other aid, said assistant engineer John Mark Davis.

The county’s matching funds was $950,848.

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“It’s an impressive figure,” said Jesse McWilliams, Chairman of the Butler County Commission. “I applaud our county engineers for bringing this money into the county.”

Highlights include:

– $850,502 in funding for a pair of bridge replacements on C.R. 28 and C.R. 7 through federally administered GARVEE bonds with a county match of $39,755.

– $2.9 million in federal aid for the resurfacing and widening of over 25 miles of county roadways with a match of $579,933.

– $1.1 million for projects related to industrial development, including the construction of a $750,000 road connecting to C.R. 61 at no cost to the county.

Additionally, the road department was able to stripe and spot patch 34 miles of roads through an $82,863 federal High Risk Rural Road grant.

Major purchases during the same time period include a $137,737 excavator and a $50,000 one-man pothole patcher, brought through the county’s oil lease revenue.

Davis said the county had also renovated five voting houses since 2004, adding bathroom facilities and making those buildings handicapped accessible.

The county also received $627,460 in emergency disaster funds through FEMA, the majority of that money coming due to Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

The only concern, said Davis, is skyrocketing fuel prices, which affects the cost of asphalt needed for road resurfacing.

In 2005 it cost $99,603 per mile to resurface a road; $116,362 per mile in 2006; and $142,997 per mile in 2008.