He said they have already applied for $3.9 million in federal funds for a preliminary phase of the project, a new roundabout and widened intersection at Cincinnati Dayton Road and Millikin. Liberty Twp. will pick up the rest of the $6.5 million project.
“We’ve already started applying for federal funds, we’ve already received $1 million and we’ll just keep applying until we get it all,” Corey said adding typically federal funding for a new interchange would be capped at 50% and the rest would come locally, but that can also include federal dollars from the OKI Regional Council of Governments.
Trustee Steve Schramm said it has been difficult getting others — like the county commissioners — to buy into helping support the project when they didn’t have official approval, but “we’re now a legitimate project.”
“We’re hoping that developers now are willing to step up and take part that they are also convinced it’s a real project,” Schramm said. “I just feel there’s been hesitancy at all levels to do buy in on it over the fact we didn’t have final blessing.”
He said they don’t have any interested parties from the developer sector yet but that’s not unusual. He said land acquisition for right-of-way is “one of the big wild cards” on a project like this and they hope people understand how much this project will eventually benefit them so they don’t get price gouged trying to buy land to build on.
“There’s none that we know of but I wouldn’t expect to know them in all candor. The whole development community in something like this will remain silent and then it just sort of happens. We have two of the corners locked up in friendly hands we feel,” Schramm said.
“We’ve got Atrium Medical Center which owns a big chunk of the northwest quadrant and then a development group from Dayton owns the southeast quadrant so that just leaves two quadrants and couple of odd pieces left that we need in the right hands we’re comfortable aren’t going to hold us up when it comes time for development.”
He said an “optimistic goal” is to start construction is 2027.
Trustee Todd Minnear has only been on the board since January but he fully supports the project. While campaigning he said voters asked him about the project and the impact on them. He told them it will help with traffic and their pocketbooks.
“This isn’t something that adds pressure to the population, and no pressure to our schools and or really too much other infrastructure,” Minnear said. “It helps from a tax standpoint and traffic.”
Schramm has met with a couple of the county commissioners individually to discuss funding and he believes they will have an official meeting with all three very soon.
The trustees had hoped to be able to the use some of the county’s University Pointe tax increment financing district funding to “front-load” the project but the commissioners recently told the Journal-News that won’t happen.
When helping out other jurisdictions financially the commissioners never want theirs to be for start-up costs. It’s not that the commissioners don’t support the interchange idea and won’t help but this vehicle isn’t the right one.
“We don’t want somebody to make a funding choice just because we got in,” Commissioner T.C. Rogers said. “A project should stand alone on its own numbers and then of course we would participate in it.”