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Montgomery, IDOT disagree on road project costs

Updated: February 17, 2013 6:21AM

MONTGOMERY — A standard item to approve an intergovernmental agreement with the state turned into a discussion on paying for planned road improvements at the Village Board meeting this week.

At issue is a road-widening project on US 30 from Route 34 to Briarcliff. The state submitted the agreement last Friday and asked Montgomery to agree to the local participation of funds to get the project off the ground immediately.

A second project calls for enhancements to interchanges and ramps at Route 30 and Route 31.

The total estimated cost of road projects is just over $25 million. Under current agreements some $20 million will come from the federal government, $5 million from the state and $225,000 from the village.

Montgomery plans to pay its share with motor fuel tax funds and will be included in the fiscal year 2014 budget.

IDOT officials have said the village’s participation would include costs for roadwork that village engineers believe should be entirely paid for by the state.

“Were going to send the agreement to the state as the board approved it. We will discuss it with changes,” said Village Engineer Pete Wellers.

The cost sharing as proposed is an additional $77,000 that Wellers said shouldn’t be charged to Montgomery.

“There is no question that the improvements to Route 30 are needed,” said Wellers.

The question is whether the improvements would benefit the state as well as the village.

When road projects benefit the state and local municipalities, traditionally a cost sharing is used for funding. Village engineers believe work at the intersection of Goodwin Drive should be split between the city and state, rather than having the village pay the entire cost.

“We believe our share of the Goodwin Drive intersection improvements should be 33 percent, not 100 percent,” said Jeff Zoephel, acting village administrator and finance director.

In other action, trustees also presented a $3,000 check to Mary Ensor from the Hesed House shelter in Aurora. The money was collected during the village’s 5K River Run.

Ensor told trustees that the number of homeless served at Hesed House continues to increase.

“It is easy to be frustrated but here I am and I am grateful,” she said. “It is ironic that when I was leaving to come here, I saw hundreds of people lining up (at the shelter) to come in on such a cold night.”

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