Enhancement grant to beautify East Auglaize Street project

Wapakoneta city leaders learned Monday a city street project set for 2013 received an additional $560,000 to enhance the roadway’s look and appeal.
Wapakoneta Safety-Service Director Bill Rains told Wapakoneta City Council members the city received a $559,680 Transportation Enhancement Grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for a streetscape project. This is the second grant the city has received from ODOT for the project. They earlier received a $1.34 million for the estimated $2.5 million street reconstruction project.
“We plan to mirror the look that has been created downtown down the street to Wood Street,” Rains told councilors.
The street reconstruction project extends from the CSX railroad tracks to Wood Street and includes the separation of stormwater and sanitary sewer lines and the replacement of water and natural gas lines as well as full-depth reconstruction of the street.
Rains credited Engineering Department Supervisor Mary Ruck for securing the grant, which requires the city to match the grant with 20 percent toward the project cost. The streetscape grant includes lighting, signage and landscaping along the roadway.
Rains noted the money would change the scope of the project.
“This money will make such a huge difference in the look of the street and what a great improvement to one of the main entryways, if not the main entryway, into our downtown,” Rains said. “It will certainly be a wonderful thing to see once it gets done.”
Mayor Rodney Metz said the improvements extend beyond the beautification of the roadway by providing better lighting which should help with improved safety along the route.
“This grant reduces the amount the city has to expend on this project which enables us to do other needed projects,” Metz said. “This also will make it nicer to travel throughout the city and should result in less wear and tear on the vehicles.”
This year, Engineering Department personnel have been working on the environmental review and right-of-way study.
During an earlier Streets, Alleys and Sidewalks Committee meeting, Metz wanted Ruck to concentrate on completing work in order to break ground on the project in the spring of 2013. The project would be completed by the end of that construction season.
Streets, Alleys and Sidewalks Committee members have scheduled public hearings on the project for 2 and 6 p.m. Thursday at the Wapakoneta City Administration Building, 701 Parlette Court.