File #: 0748-2024    Version: 1
Type: Ordinance Status: Passed
File created: 3/6/2024 In control: Public Service & Transportation Committee
On agenda: 3/25/2024 Final action: 3/27/2024
Title: To authorize the Interim Director of Public Service to apply for assistance through the Ohio Grade Crossing Elimination Program; to authorize the execution of grant and other requisite agreements with the Ohio Rail Development Commission and other entities providing for the acceptance and administration of said grant award on behalf of the City of Columbus Department of Public Service; to authorize the expenditure of any awarded funds and the refund of any unused funds; and to declare an emergency. ($0.00)
The Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) has announced a funding opportunity through the Ohio Grade Crossing Elimination Program for Fiscal Years 2024 and 2025. The program will competitively award $100 million in assistance to communities across Ohio to help communities compete for federal funding to eliminate at-grade railroad crossings. There is no deadline for applying, and applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.

While no application deadline has been set, it is important to submit applications prior to the United States Department of Transportation’s (USDOT’s) Federal Rail Administration (FRA) announcing its notices of funding opportunities (NOFOs) for eliminating railroad crossings. Based on information recently posted to USDOT’s website, city staff expects the FRA to announce these NOFOs at some point between March and May.

As envisioned, ORDC will classify into four categories:
1. Projects that are ready for federal application. For projects in this category, ORDC will work with the community to develop the necessary documentation, funding proposals and preliminary engineering necessary to apply for federal construction funding.
2. Projects that need additional development before they can be submitted as a federal application. For projects in this category, ORDC will assist the communities to perform the necessary planning studies to create a federal application.
3. Projects that have significant public benefits but are not a good candidate for current federal discretionary grant opportunities. For projects in this category, ORDC will work to identify other funding for the project.
4. Projects that do not meet state or federal program requirements.

The City meets the criteria to be request assistance from ORDC. The Department of Public Service has identified two priority projects for this funding opportunity. The first project would address two at-grade railroad crossings less than 250 feet apart on Williams R...

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