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City has $600K in federal funds to pave streets
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McMinnville has approximately $600,000 in Surface Transportation Program funds to use on city streets.
The federal funds could be added to, or used to replace part of, the $2 million city officials voted last week to borrow to pave streets.
“STP funding is money the state sends to cities and counties based on population for resurfacing projects,” said McMinnville Public Works assistant director Brad Hennessee. “The reason we have so much money is because we have accumulated it since paving stopped.”
Each year, money is allocated to each city and county based on population to help fund street paving. The city stopped paving in 2000, so the funding has been saved.
Hennessee says the money given to smaller communities is not enough to do significant paving. Instead, it is usually saved and used with street paving projects. McMinnville receives between $50,000 and $60,000 a year.
Last week, officials voted to borrow $2 million to jump start street paving. The $600,000 in STP funds can be added to the money borrowed, or used in lieu of loan funds, if a street meets certain guidelines.
STP funds must be used on “collector streets” within the city. Collector streets are those that have high traffic volume and are not considered a state or federal route, says Hennessee.
“Collector streets are main roads in a subdivision or a neighborhood,” he said. “Right off hand, I can think of one example of a collector street and that’s Red Road.”
Red Road is used by emergency vehicles, as well as receiving a high volume of traffic from residents who use it to go from Sparta Street to the bypass.
Officials are looking at paving 51 streets inside the city limits at a cost of $2.1 million. Public Works is reviewing the list to determine if any of those streets fit the guidelines as a collector street.
Beginning in 2013, state guidelines on STP funds will change. Communities can no longer save the money. Instead, it must be used in the year it is given.