Efforts ongoing to obtain road funding

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Every year, in an effort to improve county roads, District 1 devotes time and effort to filling out multiple grant applications to apply for road funding. Since what we receive monthly from the Oklahoma Tax Commission is inadequate to enable us to make major road improvements, we continually apply for outside funding.

One of the programs we submit applications to annually is the Rural Economic Action Plan (REAP). This program is administered by the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments and funded through money the legislature sets aside each year to help less populated towns, cities and counties with infrastructure projects.

As a result of applying for these funds, thousands of dollars have been brought into Logan County by each of the commission districts. Due diligence on the part of each district has resulted in various roads improvements which the county never could have afforded on its own.

Some of the paving improvements REAP funds have paid for in the past within the boundaries of District 1 include one-half mile of Academy south of University, one mile of Pine St. between Industrial and Prairie Grove, a mile of MacArthur north of Waterloo, a mile of Pennsylvania south of Highway 33, as well as pavement on various roads within Cedar Valley, which that township applied for.

Currently, REAP funds are helping pave one mile of Santa Fe north of College Avenue and scheduling is underway for an asphalt overlay on one mile of MacArthur north of Waterloo. All of these REAP projects add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in improvements.

One small drawback of being awarded a REAP grant is that those entities who receive an award one year are penalized ten points on the following year’s application. The purpose of the penalty is to try to equalize opportunities for other applicants. Since District 1 was awarded a grant last year for MacArthur, we suffered the 10 point penalty, but still managed to make the short list as the first project for alternate funding in the new REAP cycle. This means that if any funds remain from projects which other entities fail to follow through on, we will receive money to apply toward an asphalt overlay on Santa Fe Rd.  just north of Hwy 33.

This year the legislature allocated $547,792 in funding for REAP. There were 49 eligible applications requesting nearly $6.3 million for projects. Tables showing the ranking and rating of all projects can be found on page VI-A of the Dec. 15 ACOG Board of Directors agenda at http://bit.ly/vck3I9.

Mark Sharpton
Logan County District 1


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