A provision of the ordinance caps Middletown’s portion of the required local match at $150,000.
That cap has Franklin officials concerned that if the costs are higher than expected, they’ll be stuck holding the bag. So much so that Franklin City Council will consider going forward without Middletown and only doing its portion of the bike trail.
Franklin City Manager Sonny Lewis said it’s “a philosophical disagreement” for him as he was unaware of a cap being placed on Middletown’s portion.
“I don’t know what the thought process was, but I’m not willing to put the city on the hook for more money,” Lewis said.
He said Adkins notified him of Middletown council’s decision to place a cap on its portion. Lewis said he respects Middletown’s wishes to do that.
Lewis said the chances of receiving the grant are greater with Middletown as a partner and said Franklin may apply for the grant on its own and thinks council will support it.
“I’m disappointed we couldn’t work together on it,” he said. “The city doesn’t have any hard feelings against Middletown.”
He said the revised estimated cost of the project for Franklin would be about $1.1 million with Franklin’s 20 percent local match estimated at $220,000.
Lewis said he hopes Middletown considers applying for funding through the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Council of Governments to complete their portion of the bike path.
Franklin council will consider moving ahead without Middletown at its meeting on Monday
Adkins said even with the cap, there is some extra funding to cover possible overruns.
“(Middletown) Council as a rule doesn’t like open-ended agreements without a dollar amount defined,” Adkins said. “I think that’s a good policy.”