MOUNT VERNON — Knox County Engineer Cameron Keaton spoke at the Knox Trustee and Clerks Association quarterly meeting Tuesday.
Keaton spoke to the association regarding the estimated revenue the townships will receive for the new gas tax that went into effect July 1, the start of the states 20-21 fiscal year. The gas tax, which adds 10.5 cents per gallon to gas and 19 cents for diesel, will have an estimated revenue of $56,000 per township.
“This is nothing more than an estimate,” Keaton said. “It’s estimated that it may grow 1 percent next year to roughly $57,000. It could be higher or lower than this.”
He also said that the profits from the new gas tax should start coming in by next month. For the county engineer, this tax will be in about $1.5 million. The way the gas tax works is that the 88 counties in Ohio will divide by the total profit in the state. Townships are based on their population, meaning some townships may see more money coming in, some may see less.
Keaton also addressed the Ohio Public Works Commission, OPWC, or Issue 1. This grant and loan opportunity is used by villages, townships, and counties for major roadway projects.
OPWC is a competitive grant that is based on a scoring system based on the application submitted by townships. More points can be scored by doing grant and loan combinations and offering more matching funds.
“If you decide your township wants to apply for a grant, you come talk to us (the engineer’s office).” he said. The office can help put the application together and get an estimate for the project.
The OPWC might start considering funding projects for gravel roads. This means townships might have to make repairs to gravel roads if they are to receive OPWC funding. The due date for the OPWC is Oct. 4.
Keaton went over the estimated costs of a few different road repair options. He explained that the engineer’s office took the estimates for this year and averaged out the cost using a 1 mile, 18 foot wide stretch of road. These projects include a basic chip and seal ($20,000), a leaving course with chip and seal ($70,000), and a one and half of surface course down ($85,000).
EMA director Mark Maxwell announced at the meeting that EMA will be hosting a kickoff event on Sept. 25 at 10 a.m. at COTC to start new talks about mitigation. The current Knox County Mitigation Plan expires in May of 2020.
Maxwell said that federal grant money for mitigation is increasing and if the county does not have a mitigation plan in place, they are not eligible for the funding. This includes the Building Resilient Infrastructure in Communities program to provide money for infrastructure improvements such as sewers, pump stations, streets and roads among other things.
Dates for when Maxwell and the EMA will be out to villages will be announced for community input along with possible meetings with the townships.
The next meeting for the Knox Trustee and Clerk Association will be Dec. 9.