Beavercreek to spend nearly all of $5M in stimulus funds on infrastructure

The city began widening and reconstruction work along portions of Kemp Road and Dayton-Xenia Road last year FILE

Combined ShapeCaption
The city began widening and reconstruction work along portions of Kemp Road and Dayton-Xenia Road last year FILE

Council again considering an income tax to deal with multi-million dollar backlog.

BEAVERCREEK — Beavercreek will spend nearly all of its funding from the American Rescue Plan Act on stormwater, roads, and sewer projects, though leaders say the sum will only address a small portion of the city’s $200 million backlog.

Beavercreek was awarded $5 million in COVID-19 relief funding, and city officials announced last week that it would direct almost 92% of that funding toward infrastructure, with the remaining 8% toward capital expenditures.

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The city has an estimated $200 million in backlog infrastructure projects, dating back nearly 40 years.

“The lack of funding for infrastructure in Beavercreek is significant. When we receive funding that can be directed toward infrastructure, that’s exactly what we are going to do if possible,” said city manager Pete Landrum.

Per the 2020 census, Beavercreek has a population of about 46,500 people, by far the largest city in the state to not have its own income tax. Voters struck down a 1% income tax levy in November 2020. 48% of residents voted in favor of the levy, a 10% increase over the last time it was placed on the ballot in 2013.

City council recently discussed again placing an income tax before voters to address the infrastructure deficit.

“The theory is — and it’s not a theory, it’s a fact — that we only have two avenues in which to increase revenue significantly, one is an income tax and the other is the additional property taxes,” said Beavercreek finance director Bill Kucera.

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The COVID relief money will be used primarily to address the city’s stormwater systems. The last stormwater study was completed in Beavercreek in 1983, which showed the city has $25 million in stormwater projects. At the time, it was recommended that the city spend $600,000 a year on stormwater maintenance.

“We budget about $300,000 in stormwater maintenance in 2021 dollars, less than half of what was needed back in 1983,” Landrum said. “We simply do not have a funding source for stormwater and there are major issues in Beavercreek with water.”

The city is currently performing a stormwater study which will give updated costs for infrastructure projects, but the city is hoping to tackle the largest project, which affects the most people, with its COVID relief funding. That project has a very old estimated cost of $2.5 million, but the full list of projects won’t be finalized until the city get accurate bids, Landrum said.

The American Rescue Plan Act is a $130 billion federal COVID-19 relief plan for local governments signed into law earlier this year by President Joe Biden. The city received its first half of the funds in July, and the other half will be available in 2022. Per federal treasury guidelines, the money can be spent in several ways, but must be expended or contracted by the end of 2024. It can also be encumbered if it is spent by the end of 2026.

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