August 30, 2014

County decides against pursuing TIGER grant for Edgerton project

Mark Taylor
mtaylor@gardnernews.com
Johnson County Commissioners are no longer considering applying for federal TIGER grant funds for improvements to U.S. 56 Highway and 199th Street as reported last week.
Staff recommended against applying for the grant Feb. 23 due to unforseen costs and time constraints.
Mac Andrew, public works director, said the decision was made after meeting with Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) officials last week.
“We decided that we probably were going for a project that was a lot more expensive than we thought and would take a lot more time to design,” Andrew said.
Andrew told commissioners last week that KDOT identified the need for improvements to that intersection as part of last year’s U.S. 56 Highway Corridor Study.
The preliminary solution is an overpass that would eliminate the at-grade crossing and improve sight issues, access to Mildale Park, and overall traffic efficiency at the intersection as the neighboring intermodal logistics park is set to open in late 2013.
Brian Pietig, of the public works department, added that increased train traffic from the intermodal is expected to block the intersection for about seven hours per day.
Commissioners were told last week the estimated cost of the overpass would be $10 million to $14 million.
A $6.2 million TIGER grant along with a $3.1 million contribution from KDOT and a matching $3.1 from the county would generate $12.4 million in revenue for the project.
Pietig said a 50 percent match was required for the county to remain competitive for the grant.
TIGER awards $500 million nationally. Last year there were more applicants than available funds.
The TIGER application would have required a $48,000 consulting contract.
An estimated $750,000 engineering contract would be required by March 1.
Commissioner Calvin Hayden estimated the county’s odds of receiving the grant at 20 percent.
He said he didn’t believe it was worth risking $48,000 for the application.
“The odds are against us,” he said. “It’s not a good gamble.”

Comments

  1. Judith Rogers says:

    I wonder if our “wonderful” Gardner Mayor and Council and City Staff will be willing to pay $14,000 of taxpayer money again to find out how much it would cost Gardner citizens to take part in taking on these astronomical projects and their costs…………Mike Press and the Dictator are probably, as we speak, conniving to figure out how to drag Gardner citizens into this cesspool of project after project and their financial rape of the citizens………do you think it took all of these players until now to figure out how high the infrastructure costs were going to be and how they would be placed in the laps of the people: Now it finally dawns on them that “We decided that we probably were going for a project that was a lot more expensive than we thought and would take a lot more time to design,” Do you want to be involved in that sewer treatment plant of Edgerton’s that they and Press are pedaling with great vigor??? Are you gonna buy that one too???

    I read this part with great interest – “The preliminary solution is an overpass that would eliminate the at-grade crossing and improve sight issues, access to Mildale Park, and overall traffic efficiency at the intersection as the neighboring intermodal logistics park is set to open in late 2013. Brian Pietig, of the public works department, added that increased train traffic from the intermodal is expected to block the intersection for about seven hours per day.” Back in 2006 I talked to a city employee of a small town right by an intermodal in Texas. All she could talk about was how BNSF cut off traffic day in and day out and got ticketed by the Highway Patrol time and time again every week since they had no overpass for traffic to move. When she got off work, she could not get home to her family. Of course, BNSF looked at those tickets as the small cost of doing business and didn’t give a rat’s kaboodie if some ambulance couldn’t get thru to help a citizen in need. Me, like the naive good citizen that I am, gave this information to our City Leaders – did they care about problems of this kind or that Intermodal Review Committee………..no Tom Mertz and Drovetta were busy getting their propaganda program of “If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Tax ‘Em” so the mess could come to doorstep of many unsuspecting citizens……

    Do you think ole Press, Drovetta and the whole crew at City Hall need any oversight or should we just “let the City Mgr. do his job” and I say they will do their job all right and it will be a grand style job TO the people and not FOR the people.

    And now all of sudden Hayden gets his voice – what a joke!!!! You can tell it is election year.

  2. Jerry L Kellogg Sr says:
  3. Jerry,

    That was a great article about the Intermodal. I wonder if Judith will use any quotes from it?

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