County recovers $263K in CHIPS funding

JOHNSTOWN — Fulton County roads in the town of Johnstown could be the beneficiary of more than $263,000 in state aid originally taken away, but now being given back to the county Highways & Facilities Department.

Department Superintendent Mark Yost informed the Board of Supervisors’ Public Works Committee Monday that the state is reinstating $263,551 in 2020-21 state aid that was withheld last year by the state because of COVID-19.

Via a March 16 letter from the state Department of Transportation, he said Fulton County was getting most of its money back.

“They brought us back to 95 percent,” Yost said.

He noted the state took 20 percent of the county’s intended CHIPs money — or Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program funding — due to less state revenue perceived because of the pandemic. But with more federal dollars coming in, the state is returning money taken from counties.

“A budget amendment will be required to make all of this happen,” Yost said.

The committee approved a proposed resolution to amend the 2021 adopted highway capital plan. The full board will review it for final action April 12.

In light of the $263,551 revenue increase, Yost said he would like to add additional work to the 2021 capital plan through two items.

The first would involve County Highway 131A in the town of Johnstown. Yost said harsh winter conditions have caused accelerated deterioration of this 1.58-mile county road. Upon closer inspection this spring, Yost said it was determined that a two-course overlay would be more appropriate.

Yost proposed to cold-in-place recycle the entire road followed by asphalt concrete overlay as was originally planned. An additional $140,000 would be required to complete the two-course overlay.

Also, Yost proposed a project at County Highway 131/County Highway 101 in the town of Johnstown. He said he would like to add 1/6 miles of paving to that stretch. An additional $180,000 is necessary to complete work.

Changes proposed by Yost equate to increasing revenue by amounts of $318,552; and appropriations of the same amount.

Yost told the committee that the state Legislature has talked about possibly raising CHIPs funding and other funding for the next go around.

By LH Staff