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County funds to help pay for Oswego area trails, path : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
County funds to help pay for Oswego area trails, path
by Matt Schury

3/21/2013

Kendall County will award other taxing districts money to complete sidewalks along area highways in the county.

The County Board unanimously approved applications for districts requesting a total of $50,000 in Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) funds for four projects. The funding includes:

_Up to $10,000 for the Oswegoland Park District.

_$15,000 for the Village of Oswego.

_$5,000 for the City of Yorkville to complete sidewalks along Route 47.

_Up to $20,000 for the Village of Lisbon.

Andy Myers, assistant county highway engineer, said Yorkville and Oswego intend to use their funds as local matching dollars to add sidewalks along two state highways.

Yorkville's funds will be used in conjunction with the state's Route 47 improvement and widening through downtown.

Myers said the city worked out a 10-year payback with the state to build sidewalks along the road. He added that Yorkville is asking for $45,000 but the county would only pay $5,000 of that request the first year.

"The total amount of their sidewalks is $108,000, which we're not going to fund that but they have about 10 years to pay that back so I think they're going to ask for money every year if this TAP program goes on," Myers said.

In Oswego's case the sidewalks are to be constructed along Route 71 in a two-year project. Myers added that those municipalities might not even require the money this year if the state doesn't bill them promptly.

"With the way the billing works, sometimes they (the state) are way behind, we're not even sure either one of those will come up because they might not get billed from the state," Myers said.

On the other hand, the Oswegoland Park District and Village of Lisbon will probably use their funds this year.

The park district is expected to use the funds to install a sidewalk near a district building at Grove and Plainfield Road.

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is planning to widen Route 71 just to the north of the intersection and will be constructing a sidewalk along the west side of Plainfield Road or Washington Street in Oswego. The sidewalk will end at the park district property.

"They want to pick it up there and run it across a little creek and run along Plainfield Road," Myers said, adding from there the road will join up with the existing Prairie Point Community Park.

"That just makes that continuous so there is not a gap there," Myers said.

Lisbon is planning to add a sidewalk going south on Lisbon Road in front of the Lisbon Grade School at the intersection of Joliet and Lisbon Road.

"The kids would have a sidewalk to walk all the way to school because there is no sidewalk in that section," Myers said.

Last year the County Board unanimously approved creating a fund that would allow local municipalities and governmental agencies to apply to use a portion of the county's transportation sales tax to create walking and cycling trails along state and county highways.

The program, known as TAP, makes $50,000 in grant money available to municipalities or governmental bodies each year. The funding allows local municipalities and governmental agencies to apply to use a portion of the county's transportation sales tax to create walking and cycling trails along state and county highways.

The Kendall County Highway Committee selects projects to be funded and the County Board has the final vote. The grants fund up to 50 percent of each project.

"It's a bucket (fund) that's refilled every year by us and it's a match," Board Chairman John Shaw said, adding that some of the projects take more than one year to finish.

"IDOT's road construction job, as I'm sure you all have noticed coming to this (county) building, takes a while to finish," Shaw said.

Board member John Purcell pointed out that this is a way the county is giving tax dollars back to communities.

"Keep this in mind, along with the River Road bridge, this is a project where we're helping out Yorkville," Purcell said.

Myers added that the funds are needed because the state is expanding many of the state roads in Kendall County but not putting in sidewalks.

"The state is kind of dropping the ball on the sidewalks, that's my opinion, they're throwing it back on the locals," Myers said. "It is good to have continuity between the sidewalks and bike paths and it helps keep people off the road and I'm all for that."





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