Cary applies for federal road dollars

CARY – Village Board members approved applying for federal transportation dollars through the McHenry County Council of Mayors for three potential road projects.

One of the projects is the proposed roundabout at Crystal Lake Road and Silver Lake Road north of town. Cary is committing up to $50,000 toward the required local match for the potential project.

The Algonquin Township Road District, which asked the village to take the lead on the project, asked for $350,000 from the county. That amount, however, is still being finalized.

The township road district plans to contribute $370,000 toward the project, said Cary Public Works Director Erik Morimoto.

The preliminary estimate for the project is less than $2 million. Construction on the proposed intersection improvement isn’t expected to begin until 2017.

In the surface transportation program, the federal government contributes 80 percent of construction costs toward a project on eligible roads.

The village is applying for the surface transportation program grant because either municipalities or counties, and not townships, can apply for the federal money.

There have been some reservations about the project or whether the village should even contribute money from some of the Cary board members.

“Our roadway budget has been cut considerably with the end of the Build America Bonds, and we don’t have the kind of money we had in previous years,” Trustee Jeff Kraus said. “I just feel any money we have we should be spending on the roads in the village of Cary.”

The village also applied for money for two potential road projects in town.

The village is looking to do work on Georgetown Drive from Three Oaks Road to West Main Street.

That work is proposed to include asphalt replacement, curb and gutter repairs, sidewalk replacements in certain areas, revised turn lane markings, traffic signal modernization and new bicycle lanes. If grant funding is awarded, the soonest construction would start is 2017. The cost of the project is estimated to be $1.14 million.

The village also hopes to receive federal money for improvements on Three Oaks Road from Silver Lake Road to South Rawson Bridge Road. The road serves as access to adjacent residential streets, commercial areas, two parks, Cary-Grove High School, Three Oaks Elementary School and the Cary Area Public Library.

Work would include asphalt replacement, sidewalk work and traffic signal modernization, among other things. It would cost more than $1.9 million.

Village Administrator Chris Clark said it might be a couple of years before the money is awarded.

“Now we’re getting more aggressive in getting these in. It takes a couple years of work, getting in line, but this is the right way to do it,” Clark said. “These dollars are not small.”

The project applications are based on a points system. Both of these projects appear to be competitive, according to village documents.

Morimoto said the village can always withdraw the application.

“If the projects aren’t awarded the [grants], we’ll still look for ways to make these improvements happen,” Morimoto said.

In other items, the village’s codes and ordinances are online. The Village Board on Tuesday adopted the final codification of ordinances.

The village spent $30,000 this fiscal year to complete the task of reviewing and codifying the village’s code of ordinances.

People can now go to the village’s website when looking for rules for signs in town, or looking up rules for constructing buildings, among other things.

“This initiative is all about transparency,” Trustee Bruce Kaplan said. “Prior to this, somebody would come to the village, ask for a copy of the village’s codes or ordinances, and we wouldn’t have anything to give them ... All the other communities around us had their codes online. We didn’t have our codes online ... Now we’ll be able to do that.”

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