There is a maximum $750,000 in grant money — the township’s match would be about $150,000 — available through OKI. The Smith Road connector is estimated by the county engineer to cost about $400,000 to $500,000, according to Trustee Mark Welch.
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While Welch said the township can afford the local match, he has started lobbying local businesses to see if they can help mitigate that cost.
And if the township is denied the grant?
“Would I be willing to do the connector if it was five times more expensive? It would take thoughtful consideration,” Welch said.
Trustee Lee Wong, a longtime advocate of making the township more walkable, said he would spend the money regardless.
“Absolutely, absolutely, that’s what people want,” he said. “We want that little connector. It is such an important link to the other side of (Ohio) 747. It’s been sitting there for over four years.”
The Journal-News will continue to report new information in this story as it develops.