Clay County is a big step closer to receiving stimulus funds.
During a special meeting Friday, the Clay County Commissioners signed a Project Coordination Contract with the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT)-Local Public Agency for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
"This is a major step in moving forward in hopes of receiving stimulus money," Commissioner Paul Sinders said.
In May, the Clay County Council approved an additional appropriation of $10,000 for engineering services conducted by Hannum, Wagle and Cline Engineering, Inc., Terre Haute, which was needed to submit proposals for road work on Bowling Green-Poland Road and Harmony Road.
Sinders told The Brazil Times the contract signed Friday is for only Bowling Green-Poland Road, from State Road 46 (in Bowling Green) to State Road 42 (in Poland), which is approximately a seven-mile stretch.
"The application for Harmony Road is not as far along in the process at this time," he said. "We are hoping to hear something about it in August."
Commissioners' President Charlie Brown inquired about the scope of work that would be done, which Sinders replied the road would only be repaved, and any ditching or other work needed would be the county's responsibility.
"We need to do some prep work on the road before they come in," Brown said. "There are some washed out areas and water is running down it."
Although the contract was signed, it did not indicate the amount of funding would be available.
"The amount of the bid will determine the amount of funding will come from the stimulus package," Sinders said.
INDOT Public Information Director Debbie Calder confirmed to The Brazil Times the project has been advertised to receive bids from contractors, and the bids will be opened on July 29.
"As long as the bid comes in at or under the engineering estimate, the project will be a go," Calder said. "Also, it could be as early as 2-4 weeks from that date when construction may begin."
The engineering estimates for the repaving of Bowling Green-Poland Road came in at more than $500,000.
Commissioner Jack Withers said he is grateful the county is benefiting from the stimulus, especially with the stringent regulations included in the application process.
"We are very fortunate to be in the running to receive funding," Withers said. "There are so many hoops to jump through and we, especially Paul, got through them and put us that much closer."
Brown echoed Withers' sentiments in saying, "This is a great opportunity for the county, and it is exciting to be considered."
However, Brown also wished the county had the ability to decide how to spend funding they may receive. According to the stipulations surrounding the stimulus, a road may only qualify if it is classified as a major connector or minor arterial by INDOT.
"My only regret is that it would have been nice to determine where to spend it," he said. "There are so many roads that need work in the county."
Brazil's stimulus status
While the county has focused its efforts to obtaining stimulus funds for roads, the city has made its attention to securing funding for the upcoming water projects.
Brazil Mayor Ann Bradshaw told The Brazil Times the city has sent in an application for road work on Pinckley Street as well.
"We are still waiting for word one way or another about the application for Pinckley Street," Bradshaw said. "Right now, we are still in the engineering phase of preparing additional applications for the new water tower and all the water system projects."