County approves $2.7 million for Shawnee CARS, stormwater projects
The Johnson County Board of Commissioners has approved a total of more than $2.7 million in 2013 funding for three stormwater projects and one road project in Shawnee.
The commissioners on Thursday approved $20.5 million in funding for capital projects in Shawnee and five other cities through the 2013 Stormwater Management Project. Of the $20.5 million, Shawnee will receive more than $2.4 million.
One of the three local stormwater projects receiving funding involves continued Fairview Heights improvements from 2012. The 2013 program has earmarked $2,065,500 for the project. The other two Shawnee stormwater projects receiving county funding involve design phase work at Caenen Street and Johnson Drive ($65,250) and at 59th Terrace and Quivira Road ($309,750). Both of those projects will become continuation projects at the top of the list for funding consideration in the county’s 2014 Stormwater Management Program.
The program is funded by a 1/10-cent sales tax.
Commissioners on Thursday also approved more than $13.1 million in funding for 19 road projects in Shawnee and eight other cities through the County Assistance Road System.
Shawnee received a $300,000 CARS grant for improvements to Shawnee Mission Parkway from Flint Street to the east city limits. Shawnee Public Works Director Ron Freyermuth said the improvements would include milling, overlay, and curb and drainage repairs.
The $300,000 represents an unusually low CARS allocation for Shawnee, Freyermuth added. One reason for this year’s low total, he said, is the fact that Shawnee currently does not have a lot of road projects that qualify for CARS funding. Other reasons included a lack of bonding capacity, meaning that matching funds for CARS projects had to come out of the city’s street maintenance fund, which was already stretched thin. But according to Freyermuth, the city’s bonding capacity and street maintenance fund both were bolstered during the 2013 city budgeting process, putting the city in a better position to increase CARS funding in the future.
The CARS program was established in 1983 with a goal to construct and maintain local major transportation corridors in partnership with the cities of Johnson County. Each year, the cities submit a five-year road improvement plan to Johnson County. Using a scoring system, the county annually selects projects and allocates funds, paying up to 50 percent of the construction and inspection costs. Cities are responsible for design, right-of-way and utility relocation costs.
Last year, Shawnee was granted $435,000 in CARS funding to help with recently completed improvement of Blackfish Parkway between Lackman Road and Westgate Street.