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NOACA to put $2M toward Broadway project

  • E-Inqueue-WordPress-Output-106342-Lorain-05-01-03-NoBalloons-M-jpg

    An artist's rendering shows plans for an improved streetscape on Broadway in Lorain.

    SUBMITTED PHOTO

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LORAIN — The city stands to receive $2 million from the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency for the Broadway streetscape — more than half of the project’s expected cost.

At a regular City Council meeting Monday night, Mayor Chase Ritenauer said NOACA’s Planning and Programming Committee recommended the partial funding of the $3.6 million project move to an Executive Committee vote.

“So it looks like it’ll be up to us to find the remainder of the money, which will be a lot easier than we originally thought now,” he said. “The downside is the money isn’t supposed to be available until 2020, but there is the ability to request the money early, and ODOT is working with NOACA on ways to do that.”

Funding for the project had stalled when, at a January Streets and Utilities Committee meeting, Council members decided in a 5-4 vote that assessments to property owners along Broadway to finance the streetscape were too high.

Since the project would widen sidewalks and improve signage along Broadway from West 10th Street to U.S. Route 6, those property owners were originally going to be assessed a portion of the cost.

The January proposal was that individual property owners would be responsible for either 40, 50 or 60 percent of the total cos. If they owned 25 feet of frontage, they would pay:

  • $7,334.21 over the course of 20 years, or $44.44 a month, should they be responsible for 40 percent of the streetscape cost
  • $9,152.70 over the course of 20 years, or $55.46 a month, should they be responsible for 50 percent
  • $10,971.20 over the course of 20 years, or $66.48 a month, should they be responsible for 60 percent

Ritenauer said in January that most property owners understood the need for the assessments but balked at the price tag, worried it would add too much to the cost of upkeep on the buildings.

“Now, we might be able to do away with the assessments completely or, if we have to keep them, they’re going to be drastically reduced,” he said. “This is a positive moving forward. This is a step in the right direction for sure.”

Ritenauer said the NOACA Executive Committee vote on the funding will take place June 9, but when things are brought before it they are usually approved, so while it’s not officially a done deal, the city should expect the help.

Contact Katie Nix at knix@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @KatieHNix.



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