Friday, July 15, 2011

Spend money to make money

Grant funding could lead to more funding

Express Staff Writer

Blaine County commissioners used grant funding to enter a $50,000 contract that could lead to more grant funding to maintain and repair county roads.

County commissioners provisionally signed a contract with Boise-based consulting firm Keller and Associates to develop a transportation plan for the county.

Char Nelson, county director of operations, said the plan will analyze the county's roads and slate them for projects based on need over a five-year period.

"It helps us run more efficiently," Nelson said. "When you have a plan in place, you know what you're doing from year to year."

Grants based on a points system, such as the Federal Transit Administration's Surface Transportation Program, often award additional points if the county has a transportation plan, Nelson said. The county applied for such a grant to repair Broadford Road, but did not receive enough points to qualify for the federal funds.

Keller and Associates will subcontract with local firm Galena Engineering to complete the transportation plan.

The $50,000 study will be paid for through another Surface Transportation Program grant. The plan will be finished by June 30, 2012.

Katherine Wutz:

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