Sandusky seeks stimulus funds for street projects

SANDUSKY City officials may be fighting with other leaders throughout the country for a relatively s
May 24, 2010



City officials may be fighting with other leaders throughout the country for a relatively small piece of a huge pie.

Almost all of the city's stimulus proposals focus on transportation. But only $50 billion of President Barack Obama's $787 billion stimulus plan will be devoted to this.

Sandusky officially submitted nine projects to the Ohio Department of Development last week, most of which concentrate on rehabilitating the city's roads.

The city's top priority is the Hayes Avenue reconstruction project. An e-mail from city manager Matt Kline last month said the project would include new curbs, gutters, sidewalks, traffic signal replacement, gateway and directional signage, as well as a waterline loop to improve water pressure for the hospital and the demolition of the former American Crayon building.

The city's engineering division estimated the cost at $3.2 million.

"It's the main corridor of this city," Kline said. "It houses our No. 1 and No. 3 employers, (which are) the hospital and KBI. ... To get Hayes Avenue redone would just be huge for this city."

Other projects include the resurfacing of First Street and a larger citywide resurfacing program for other city streets.

Kline also said he is considering adding wind turbines to the city's wish list, although Andy White, Huron's city manager, is asking for money for wind turbines in a countywide proposal.

Although the state's Web site says officials will soon contact cities for more information about their projects, city commissioner Dave Waddington said the city should actively lobby for the money.

He offered to go to Columbus to speak with state leaders and said he intended to speak with Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, who was in town Monday night for a Democratic Party function.

Unless Sandusky is persistent, he said, the bulk of the money will go to bigger cities.

"I don't want to get left with crumbs," he said. "When I learn more about this ... if I feel we're getting shortchanged, I still might go down to Columbus and try to get the attention of some of the (officials) down there."