Right after I won the Republican Primary election for District 1 Logan County Commissioner in June 2014 I began researching current and future projects and began making operational plans for the road district. The Coltrane road from Waterloo Road north to Forest Hills is one such project that had been approved for federal road funds in 2012 by ACOG but immediately lost that funding early in 2013.
I was told that we needed to complete the utility relocation in order to gain readiness points to reapply and qualify. That’s all the detail I was given or could find out since I have taken office. I was told we could get those project reediness points back by finishing the new right of way and utility relocation phase of the project. That’s what we were told; we could significantly increase the odds of receiving construction funding and complete the project.
So, right after I took office I directed our efforts to begin work to finish the acquisition and clearing the right of way as a priority project supporting our goal to complete that phase and reapply for funding re-authorization at the end of CY 2015. My charge was to get this project moving again as it seemed to stall after losing funding in 2013 as there were no previous reapplications submitted in 2013 or 2014 by the previous administration.
We then reapplied but to our surprise the application did not score high enough, not receiving even close to enough points to make the list this year. In addition, we would have been disqualified even if we had scored high enough on points as our current application exceeds the 7.5 million dollar maximum grant request. We are now working again with ODOT to break this one big project into two or three smaller ones allowing them to stand alone and not be contingent on the others. Using this approach we have a much better chance of getting construction funding next year. I will provide more information the project after we finish updating our CIRB plan with ODOT.
On a different but equality important topic we have had several requests for information on county wide building and animal control – leash laws. As you may not know, Logan County has no county wide building codes or animal control/leash laws or ordinances. What you may not know is that is the reason we are able to keep taxes low because we are not required to budget to support the enforcement of such county wide ordinances. We support the concept of limited government and lower taxes in the unincorporated areas of our county and so Logan County relies on like-minded citizens joining together to make up local associations of neighbors; a.k.a. Home Owners Associations (HOA), and City, Town, Municipal governments; to enact locally proposed and democratically enabled restrictive ordinances.
Enacting any ordinance will always requires an increase in the operations tempo of the enforcing agency and so these otherwise “good ideas” will always cost the taxpayers of this county more each year by requiring a larger budget to support code enforcement. I believe the reason why the unincorporated portions of southern Logan County have seen such growth is because of our lower taxes and less restrictive ordinances, low taxes & fewer restrictions go hand in hand with economic growth and free market opportunities.
Until next time, be safe out there on our county roads and bridges.
Logan County, District 1
Work: 405 282-3581