Oregon seeks funding to extend bike path

Kelly J. Kaczala

        Oregon seeks funding to extend bikeway path Oregon will submit an application with the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments (TMACOG) for funding for the Oregon Trail Bikeway – Phase 4 project.
        The Transportation Alternatives Program provides financial assistance to local governments for pedestrian and bicycle facility purposes.
        The city seeks assistance for funding from the program for the bikeway phase 4 for constructing approximately 2,400 feet of a 10-foot wide asphalt bike path between the Oaktree Subdivision and Brown Road.
        “We’re submitting an application to TMACOG for another bikeway project,” said Rodney Shultz, deputy city engineer, at a council meeting on Aug. 5.
        “This project is kind of an extension of the path we just installed between Navarre Avenue and Oaktree. The application is to extend it from there south down to Brown Road,” he said.
        Phase 2 of the bike path will be constructed from Navarre Avenue to Starr Avenue next year.
        “There’s funding in the budget this year for that project. We are currently in the final design stages. We have a little bit of right away to acquire – a few easements that we need,” said Shultz. “It just depends on how quickly those acquisitions go. One of them involves a couple little easements from Walmart. If we’re able to get those in a timely manner, we could potentially bid it out, at least get it under contract and have it constructed early next year.”
        The Transportation Alternatives Program would provide 80 percent of the funding, which is $220,000, while the city would be responsible for 20 percent of the project, which is $55,000.
Rescue vehicle
        Also at the meeting, council approved the purchase of a 2018 Braun Medic Unit for the Oregon Fire/Rescue Division from Penn Care, Inc., from Niles, Ohio, for $141,504.
        The Oregon fire/rescue department currently operates with five medic units that are housed in three fire stations.
        The Braun, which has a mileage of 1,250, replaces the oldest unit in the fleet, a 2007 vehicle with over 40,000 mileage that currently serves as the Echo unit. It is staffed 16 hours per day, Monday through Friday with an average of 10-15 runs per day.
        The purchase was needed due to maintenance challenges of an aging fleet, with significant rising costs in maintenance and repairs.
        The city had discussed including funding in the 2019 budget for one new medic vehicle, but decided to wait until the 2020 period. Due to the increased and unexpected maintenance down time, the city decided to replace the older vehicle to ensure there was an appropriate number of working vehicles to meet community service needs. Penn Care provided a quote below the State Purchase program pricing for the Braun. The city will replace the 2007 vehicle on GovDeals.org for resale.
        “These are vehicles that are given a lot of tough wear and tear. But we need to have them running when we need them,” said City Administrator Mike Beazley. “I’m always parsimonious when it comes to buying vehicles. But the chief and assistant chief met with the mayor and I, and laid out the case. This is a vehicle we felt was a good value because it was a demo vehicle, so we’re paying a little off the sticker price. In terms of having a fleet necessary to meet the safety and service needs, we’re ready to go.”
        City officials believe it is a good fit for the department, as the fire department expects over 3,500 calls from the community this year.


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