IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 24, 1998
ODOT Restores Paving Assistance to Cities
COLUMBUS -- The Ohio Department of Transportation announced today it will resume a program of helping cities maintain state routes within the municipalities.
ODOT was in the process of phasing out its program of paving state routes within cities until Governor George Voinovich intervened. The Governor asked ODOT to reconsider the policy in light of additional federal transportation funds the state is scheduled to receive.
"Governor Voinovich heard from the mayors in Ohio and asked us to reconsider our position," said ODOT Director Jerry Wray. "With the additional federal dollars we expect to receive, we will resume a partnership with local governments to maintain the state routes within cities."
Ohio law identifies state routes within cities as the responsibility of local governments. About 27 percent of the states gasoline taxes and nearly all of the state vehicle registration fees go to local governments for roadway maintenance.
In addition, ODOT provides about $200 million of its $950 million construction budget directly to local governments for discretionary local projects. Over and above that $200 million in pass-through funds, ODOT for years provided additional funds to help with state routes within cities.
In 1996, ODOTs tightening financial situation caused it to change its practice and to make fewer additional commitments for paving within cities. ODOT did not drop any existing commitments and did not reduce the $200 million in funding passed through to locals. ODOT always retained its commitment to maintain state routes within villages.
ODOT expects its federal funds to increase steadily over the life of the new six-year transportation law, known as the Transportation Equity Act of the 21st Century. With the additional funds, ODOT will resume a municipal paving program. The Department will work with local governments to prioritize and schedule the requested projects.