Butler County commissioners on July 18 will vote on a measure to add $5 to the vehicle registrations of almost every county resident.
But that increase could lead to state and federal dollars that would allow multiple road and bridge improvements throughout the county, including the completion of the Route 228 improvement project.
Kim Geyer, vice chairman of the commissioners, explained that she and Chairman Leslie Osche traveled to Washington, D.C., last August to meet with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and her staff regarding the county's many road and bridge needs.
Chao told Geyer and Osche that the Department of Transportation was looking to fund projects that were already in the works, “but needed a push over the goal line,” Geyer said.
“When we were driving back, I said to Leslie 'You know what? That's the Route 228 project,'” Geyer said.
Chao's staff told the commissioners in April that their application for the BUILD grant would be more competitive if the county were shown to have exhausted every option in creating sources of local funding for road and bridge projects, which is why the commissioners are planning to vote on the additional $5 registration fee, Geyer said.
Should the county receive the $25 million BUILD grant, that money would be used to straighten Ball's Bend on Route 228 and widen the entire road between Route 8 and Quality Gardens near the Adams/Middlesex border.
Geyer said because they know residents might oppose the fee, the commissioners included safeguards in the ordinance.
The commissioners will vote on the $5 fee at their 10 a.m. meeting on July 18 on the first floor of the county government center.
Read more about what other projects will be aided by the fee increase and what safeguards the commissioners have put into place in Monday's Butler Eagle.