Richland Avenue Project Moving Forward; City Still Needs About $2 Million In Funding

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The city of Athens plans to apply for federal funds to pay for some if not all of the remaining costs for significant improvements to the southern stretch of Richland Avenue.

“The city is really good at chasing these grant opportunities,” Transportation Committee Chair Elalu Gosney said.

The city already has $1 million of the estimated $3 million needed for the project. It would improve Richland Avenue for pedestrians and bicyclists; adding bike lanes, sidewalks and lighting.

The federal government through the state-administered Small Cities Project grant program offers a total of $8 million to the state of Ohio. Fifty-three cities in Ohio are eligible to apply for the funds.

“There is no guarantee but we would certainly be competitive given how far along we are in the design of this project,” Gosney said.

The city has until March 1st to apply for the grant. The Council will have a first reading of the ordinance authorizing the mayor to apply for the grant during next Tuesday’s meeting.

The project is slated to begin in July 2014.