City Secures $1.2 Million in Road Funds
Nov 12, 2015 01:28PM ● Published by Scott Bartlett
By Scott Bartlett
Murray’s Public Works Department has more than doubled its discretionary road funds for the current budget year.
As reported by Public Works director Doug Hill at the Sept. 1 city council meeting, the city has secured $1.2 million in road construction funds from Salt Lake County. The current 2015-2016 budget includes about $950,000 for road construction, which Hill has already allocated to four projects to be completed this fall and the upcoming spring.
Murray’s lobbyist Dave Stewart helped acquire the additional money. It comes from a county fee that is charged on every motor vehicle registration within the county, which is earmarked for highway construction and transportation corridor preservation. A portion of the collected fees then flows through the county to different municipalities.
Hill reported that he will wait until bids for construction on the upcoming 5900 South project are complete in November before deciding what additional projects will receive the newly-acquired money. The 5900 South project will involve reconstruction from State Street to 700 West, and current cost estimates put its price at $5 million. Funding is through the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, or STIP, which the Department of Transportation uses to plan and fund road projects at the state, city and county levels. Hill wants to make sure the $5 million coming from the STIP will cover the project before committing the new county funds elsewhere.
“Some of the engineers think it could be a little more than $5 million,” said Hill. The project’s designers are carrying out value engineering, which will evaluate all potential costs and look for areas where the city might save some money.
The current construction on 5300 South will be completed this October, and construction on 5900 South will begin in 2016. The city has already acquired all the additional properties it will need to reconstruct 5900 South.
Once the city decides where to spend the additional money received from the county, it will report its plans to the county. The city will then receive the money up front and provide accounting to the county once the projects are underway or complete.
Per the agreement through which the city will receive the funds, the money can be used for highway construction, reconstruction or maintenance projects, or the enforcement of state motor vehicle and traffic laws in the city. Highway is a loosely-defined term that is not restricted to roads with state highway designations. In 2014, the city received $850,000 of the same type of county funding.