Monroe to loan Lemon Twp. $50,000 for road project

Monroe will be loaning Lemon Twp. $50,000 in order to move forward with the rehabilitation of Hankins Road.

It took City Council two meetings to adopt a resolution in which Monroe would front Lemon Twp.’s portion of the local match to obtain the nearly $1 million Ohio Public Works Commission grant. The other partners in the project includes the Butler County Engineer’s Office and Liberty Twp. as the road goes through each of the jurisdictions. However, because there were not five affirmative votes, the emergency clause could not be invoked because it did not pass with five votes. The resolution takes effect Sept. 8.

City Manager Bill Brock said that Lemon Twp. adopted a resolution to put $50,000 for their local match. However, township trustees said they did not have the funds at this time and said they could repay the city $10,000 a year for five years.

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Brock told council that he would be bringing an amended contract to council that will include the $10,000 repayment in addition to the current contract for the city to provide road maintenance and fire protection for the township.

Councilman Dan Clark said he understands the financial situation Lemon Twp. is facing as infrastructure and other needs are outpacing its small tax base.

“The difficulty of this issue to me is that we’re loaning tax money to another political subdivision,” he said. “I don’t think it’s something a city should do. What happens in the future with other projects.”

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Councilman Todd Hickman said at the July 25 meeting that it’s difficult to loan money to the township when Monroe is putting an income tax increase on the ballot for safety services as well as for infrastructure and capital improvements.

City Engineer Dan Arthur said the project started July 31 as the county Engineer’s Office has already started to replace two storm culverts in the road as its part of the local match.

“We really had to do this because you’d hate to pass up nearly $1 million in grant money,” Arthur said. “The road is in pretty bad condition.”

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He said the road would be closed until the week of Sept. 18

During the closure, local access will be maintained for residents of Hankins Road within the construction zone as well as for side streets, including Crossings Boulevard and Roden Park Drive in Liberty Twp. Residents of these subdivisions however are advised to utilize alternate access into and out their subdivisions in order to minimize as much as possible the amount of traffic within the Hankins Road construction zone.

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