BLANCHESTER — Infrastructure projects here were a focus Thursday night of village council actions.
The Blanchester Village Council approved two resolutions pertaining to funds for the Cherry Street project. The council also approved hiring Dunrobin Associates for the right-of-way on the Safe Routes to School project.
The first Cherry Street related ordinance was to establish a new special fund for the project. The second one transferred funds from the village’s water operating fund and permissive tax fund to the project fund.
Mayor John Carman told the council the funds are being awarded through the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC).
“We’re starting to get some invoices. So, we have some funds that we need to transfer in and start paying the bills,” said Carman.
Carman told the News Journal the total grant funds are almost $300,000. He advised they haven’t received any of the funds yet. Bidding for the project will go out in early 2021.
With the transferred funds, Councilmember Reilly Hopkins asked whether this was at the request of the Blanchester Board of Public Affairs. Carman said it wasn’t.
“We applied for the funds. We have a match and the match comes from water because of the water project,” said Carman. “All the stuff on the streets is permissive because there’s street paving.”
The Safe Routes to School project was brought up with the council in 2019 by Taylor Stuckert of the Clinton County Regional Planning Commission.
The program, created by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), provides funds to school districts to increase pedestrian activity and infrastructure in the community, according to Stuckert.
“Safe Routes to School is a great way to connect some of these pedestrian ways, linkages, some of the gaps, and some of the routes to school,” said Stuckert.
According to ODOT’s website, “The purpose of Safe Routes to School is to encourage and enable students in grades K-8 to walk or ride their bicycle to school. Projects can be either engineering (improved crossings, sidewalks, etc.) or non-engineering (education and encouragement programs).”