Township of West Chester. Administrators target aging infrastructure for $ 6.6 million in federal windfall funds


“They’re going to tell communities what they’ve lost,” Keim said, adding that he always had to report finances to the US Census Bureau and that body would apparently determine what a jurisdiction lost, based on its total revenue. “It won’t be anything that I can prove, that I can designate this hotel tax as what we generally got, what we got.”

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Trustees approved the first storm system project this week, $ 168,234 to repair several storm pipes, and administrator Ann Becker said it was a good use of ARP funds. She said it’s not “fancy” and nothing will be posted on Instagram – unless the storm sewers come back up – but it is necessary.

“I think using this US bailout money to shore up our storm drains is a good use of that money,” Becker said. “I still wonder if this money should be distributed as freely as it is, I understand the idea behind it is a little frustrating, but we are using it the right way.”

The township also received nearly $ 4 million in CARES funding and allocated $ 3.8 million for police and firefighter salaries, allowing the township to extend the duration of their withdrawals. The original deadline to spend this pot of coronavirus relief funding was last December. Keim said the township has four years to commit the ARP funds so that the priorities can change for the money.

Barb Wilson, director of information and public engagement, said the township has grown so rapidly that much of the infrastructure is older, of the same age and has the potential to fall into disrepair. failure at the same time. She said they tried to allocate replacement projects every year, but it would help them tackle it more broadly.

Keim said if the census office came back and showed the township had suffered a big loss from the crisis, it might recommend changing course.

“Our director of community services said he wouldn’t have much trouble finding enough pipes that need to be dealt with,” Keim said. “If by any chance they (the census office) come back and say you’ve suffered 100’s of thousands of lost income this year, I’ll probably make another pitch to our decision-makers about other potential things we could do.”

The township also has a number of districts funding tax increases that the fiscal budget estimates are expected to generate about $ 12.2 million in revenue to fund $ 10.4 million in projects next year. The township regularly uses funds from special tax districts for large construction projects like the new diamond interchange diverge from Union Center Boulevard to Interstate 75.

There are no major projects underway this year, but administrators plan to fund an addition to the MidPointe Library for a multi-purpose community space. A very rough estimate from trustee Mark Welch put the cost at $ 3.6-4.8 million for an addition of 10,000 to 12,000 square feet.

Becker told the Journal-News that they have a meeting with library officials scheduled for the end of the month to discuss preliminary plans for the addition. Any construction project would be supported by TIF funds.

MidPointe executive director Travis Bautz told Journal-News he is still waiting for the architect’s plans and does not yet have a cost estimate.

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