County gives go-ahead to transportation program

CLINTON — Clinton County is continuing with the county's rural transportation program for fiscal year 2020.

The Clinton County Board of Supervisors on Monday voted 3-0 in support of a resolution to approve the fiscal year 2020 Clinton County Rural Transportation Program, which funds transportation projects in small cities. The program establishes a $75,000 fund for small cities in Clinton County. The resolution states the program is approved starting July 1. Clinton County Engineer Todd Kinney said small cities will start making applications with the assistance of the East Central Intergovernmental Association in January and February.

"Basically you're committing to fund $75,000 for this program before you really got into budget prep discussion and thought process," Kinney said. "This should occur in order to establish the program so the program's there so (Director of Transportation) Chandra (Ravada) and ECIA can provide service to the small cities. So we kind of need to get this stacked up in front and ready to go is the issue."

Kinney said with federal funding, all entities with a population of 5,000 or greater are given a direct sub-allocation. He said the allocation is based on the population. He said entities with a population of less than 5,000 do not get a direct allocation. Kinney said there is a small city fund. He said the issue with the small city fund is that it is federal aid and requires the small cities to comply with federal aid.

"The local funds don't come with any of the federal aid requirements as far as scheduling and oversight and audits and that kind of thing at the end of the year," Kinney said. "So the federal aid is hard to use. County giving local money to the small cities is very easy to use. So that was the gist of trying to do this was to get some of this money to small cities and make it easy for them to use."

Supervisor Tom Determann believes it is a great program to offer the small cities in Clinton County.

"It's probably one of the best things we've done for the small cities," Determann said.

The Supervisors also voted 3-0 to pass a resolution to approve a contract agreement with ECIA for County Rural Transportation Program services.