CLINTON — The City of Clinton will officially pursue United States Department of Transportation funding for a Mill Creek Parkway expansion project.

The City Council voted Tuesday to endorse an application for a U.S. DOT TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant for a potential project that will four-lane Mill Creek Parkway from U.S. 30 to Main Avenue in Lyons, then create a two-lane extension from Main Avenue to U.S. 67 near Eagle Point Park.

The maximum amount of money the city could be awarded, should the project be chosen, is $25 million. There is no obligation to accept the funding if city officials’ support for the project diminishes in the future. At a late-September council meeting, Iowa Department of Transportation Commissioner Dave Rose said the potential project stands a very good chance of being awarded at least some of the federal funding.

At that meeting, Rose and City Engineer Jason Craft spoke of the benefit of the expansion project, namely the four-laning from U.S. 30 to Main Avenue, that areas of the city such as the Lyons Business and Technology Park could see.

On Tuesday, by a 6-to-1 vote, the council agreed.

“I’ll just reiterate what I said a few weeks ago, that this just makes sense,” councilman Seth Odor said of endorsing the city’s application for the grant. “To tell (the Department of Transportation) now, ‘No thanks,’ before we even apply or anything like that just doesn’t make sense in my book...I just think it makes sense for our community to at least look into this. I’m glad to hear that we have the support of the Lyons Association, the Downtown Alliance, and so on and so forth. Everyone I’ve talked to, they feel upbeat and positive about this possibility.”

Council members made the vote just in time for city engineering and transportation officials to submit the application ahead of the Oct. 16 deadline. According to the U.S. DOT website, more than $5.1 billion has been awarded around the country since the grants’ inception for projects such as the Mill Creek expansion vision, aiding in countless transportation and infrastructure projects.

To submit an application for the grant, the city must conduct a study related to the project. The council approved an agreement with Snyder and Associates not to exceed for $25,000 to conduct the study, estimate costs and apply for the grant.

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