Lebanon outlines $31 million in capital improvements planned for next 5 years

Roads, electric system to see biggest investments

Lebanon has updated its five-year capital improvements plan that outlines more than $31.1 million in upcoming projects ranging from vehicle replacements to paving streets and other infrastructure, park, and utility improvements.

During the five-year program, the city projects to receive more than $12.6 million in grant funds from state and federal sources to complete these projects, according to the plan.

Broken down by purpose, Lebanon officials plan to spend more than $14 million in electric system improvements, $10.2 million in road work, $2.14 million in water system projects, $2 million in park improvements, $1.12 million in general capital projects, $850,000 in storm water system work, and $615,000 in sanitary sewer improvements.

City Manager Scott Brunka said, “Expenditures for roadway improvement projects for 2024 total $10.2 million.”

In the plan that Lebanon City Council approved for 2024-2028, Brunka said major 2024 roadway maintenance projects include the reconstruction and widening of Glosser Road to include a roundabout at Glosser Road and Cincinnati Avenue; and the second phase of the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Urban Paving Program. Additionally, the 2023 program includes $735,000 for general street resurfacing and $1 million for curb, gutter, and sidewalk replacement.

The city maintains 225 lane miles of roadway. After a 2017 decision to reduce the income tax credit paid to other cities from 1% to 0.5%, the city has been able to use that extra revenue, about $1 million or an extra 40%, for road resurfacing. Brunka said the city expects to spend an average of $9 million a year on road improvements for 2024-2028.

The city’s last pavement condition survey was done in 2021, Brunka said. About 68.3% of the city’s roads and streets were in good or better condition; 17.8% were in fair condition; and 13.8% were in poor condition.

The city has submitted a grant application to replace the Kingsview Drive bridge based on the most current bridge inspection evaluation. Brunka said the estimated project cost is $2 million, with the ODOT Municipal Bridge grant program potentially funding 90% of it. If funded, construction would begin in 2024.

Other projects in the new plan include:

  • About $1.75 million to construct a separate bike path along North Broadway in 2024 and the construction of the Bowman Trail Loop in 2025. The plan also includes $200,000 to construct a new performance stage in Bicentennial Park to replace the existing gazebo.
  • Eleven vehicles are to be replaced in 2024 — three marked police cruisers and one unmarked vehicle; a staff vehicle for the fire department; one administrative vehicle; a street sweeper; a mower; an excavator; a pick-up truck and a bucket truck.
  • A total of $5.2 million has been programmed for stormwater system improvement projects during years 2024 through 2028, including $850,000 for 2024. The 2024 storm water projects include the installation a new stormwater system on Glosser Road, as well as addressing a drainage issue at other locations.
  • The major sewer system improvement projects for 2024 are the upgrades to the aeration system at the wastewater treatment plant, and replacing AMI (advanced metering infrastructure) meter-reading nodes.
  • The 2024 water system improvements include the 8-inch water main replacements on North Broadway; and AMI node replacement.
  • About $12 million has been programmed for electric system improvements in 2024. Brunka said the city is considering building a natural gas-fired generation system to help generate additional electric power during peak load times. He said this will offset the costs of buying electricity during peak times when the costs go up to meet the demand. Additionally, $1 million has been programmed for distribution system improvements.

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