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Township Stimulus Program Guidance

The Township Stimulus Program is a one-time program providing Federal funds to townships for sidewalk, roadway and culvert (less than 10 feet in span) projects located within township limits. The allocation for this program will be administered by ODOT’s Division of Planning, Office of Local Programs. The total funding available for this program is $8 million and a funding limit of $250,000 per project has been established. ODOT will provide 100% of eligible costs for all phases of the project, up to the specified project funding limit. The project funds will be pre-paid to the township and must be spent by December 31, 2024. There are currently 1,308 townships in the State of Ohio.

To be eligible for the Township Stimulus Program, the project must:

  • be within township limits;
  • be the maintenance responsibility of the township;
  • require no or minimal environmental or right-of-way work; and
  • be a culvert (less than 10 feet in span), sidewalk, or roadway (including pavement marking and guardrail) project

A scoring system has been established for prioritizing projects for final award.  The scoring criteria is based on the project type and is discussed in greater detail later in the guidance. Scoring criteria such as Economic Health, Annual Average Daily Traffic, Letter of Support from County Engineer, and within existing right-of-way (ROW) will be used for all project types. The Sufficiency Rating and Culvert Condition Rating will be used for culvert projects. Pavement Condition Rating will be used for roadway projects and Number of Actual or Estimated Users will be used for sidewalk projects, among other scoring criteria.

In addition to this scoring system, a multi-disciplinary committee will review the applications and provide feedback and a determination for each project. The committee’s determinations are taken into consideration when selecting projects for funding awards.

While the funds are Federal Stimulus funds, they allow for flexibility that typically is not afforded to townships, thus allowing these funds to be used on projects that historically would not have been eligible for Federal funding. However, township recipients must still adhere to Section 5575 and 4115 of the Ohio Revised Code in terms of whether township force account limits can be applied and prevailing wage requirements. Projects exceeding force account limits must be competitively bid. Projects with various locations and work types such as chip/seal, guardrail, pavement markings, etc. can be applied for under one application. However, each individual location will be considered its own project when applying the force account limits.

Townships receiving funding will be issued a check for the dollar amount of the award. Therefore, the award recipient must be in ODOT’s accounting vendor system before funds can be awarded. Should funding be awarded, additional details will be provided in the award letter as to how the award recipient becomes a vendor within ODOT’s accounting system to receive the check.

Award recipients will need to provide documentation of expenditures with each paid invoice and at completion of the project to the ODOT program manager to demonstrate how the awarded funds were successfully spent. Additionally, information will be requested by the program manager as to the status of the awarded projects at various intervals for reporting purposes. Further detail as to the intervals and information will be outlined in the award letter.

Project costs in excess of the funding awarded will be 100% the responsibility of the township. There is no guarantee there will be excess funding available within this program to increase project caps to account for project overruns. Therefore, it is important to have a thorough estimate to ensure the amount awarded will cover the proposed work and any change orders.  

Alternately, if project costs come in lower than the awarded amount, the township may apply the awarded funds to another township project rather than returning them to ODOT. However, the Township Stimulus Program Manager must be notified and approve the additional proposed project for use of the awarded funding. The additional project(s) also need to provide the same documentation of expenditures as the original approved project to ensure there is documentation provided for the total amount of funding awarded. 

Further information on the program and the application link can be found at Township Stimulus Program | Ohio Department of Transportation or by going to https://www.transportation.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odot/ and searching for Township Stimulus Program. Additional content and resources will be uploaded to the website as they are created.

ELIGIBLE WORK

Township Stimulus Program funds may be used for the following:

  • Sidewalks
  • Roadway resurfacing
  • Roadway widening
  • Roadway full depth repairs
  • Chip/Seal
  • Guardrail
  • Pavement Markings
  • Culvert rehabilitation
  • Culvert replacement
  • Utilities: as absolutely necessary to the above eligible projects
  • Vegetation clearing: as absolutely necessary to the above eligible projects

Ineligible items include, but are not limited to:

  • New Roadway (except when replacing gravel with pavement)
  • Multi-use paths
  • Utilities: except in circumstances noted in the eligible section above
  • Projects outside township limits
  • Assets not owned by the township
  • Signals
  • Vehicles
  • Vegetation clearing: except in circumstances noted in the eligible section above
  • Stand-alone storm water pump stations
  • Driveways
  • Parking Lots
  • Assets that are not the maintenance responsibility of the township, whether through law, ordinance, resolution, historical precedence, etc.

APPLICATION PROCESS

A. The project solicitation process will begin August 1, 2021. Townships must complete an application for funds and submit on-line to the ODOT Township Stimulus Program Manager by November 19, 2021. County engineers, Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and Regional Transportation Planning Organizations (RTPOs) may submit an application on behalf of a township, as long as the township is aware of the application and in agreement with it. The application form will be made available through the Office of Local Programs’ website (Township Stimulus Program | Ohio Department of Transportation) on the first day of the solicitation cycle.  Along with the completed application, the following information should be submitted:

  1. Project location map
  2. Photographs of project site (limit of 10 photographs)
  3. Project scope
  4. Detailed project schedule (include date ranges, not just length of time or a year with no date ranges) *
  5. Cost estimate that includes all sources of funding by phase and a breakdown of costs for the proposed project*
  6. Project plans, if developed.

*These items are required to be submitted with the application. Any applications submitted without these will be deemed nonresponsive and will not be considered for award. Examples will be provided on the funding page website at the link provided above.

B. The application and submitted data will be verified and evaluated by a multi-disciplinary committee comprised of ODOT Central Office and District personnel.  The Township Stimulus Program Manager will then review and score the applications.

C. The Program Manager will select the proposed projects based on merit and availability of Program funds.  It should be emphasized the scoring process does not require the Program Manager to fund projects in strict order of their scoring.  The scoring is a means to help the committee generally prioritize projects.  Other factors determined relevant will be taken into consideration, such as committee recommendations and past project delivery performance.

D. Once the projects have been selected, the Township Stimulus Program Manager will notify all applicants of the results no later than February 28, 2022.

TOWNSHIP STIMULUS PROGRAM SCORING CRITERIA

The table below outlines the scoring system to prioritize the funding of projects for the Township Stimulus Program. The scoring criteria includes: Economic Health, Annual Average Daily Traffic, Roadway Functional Classification, Letter of Support from County Engineer, Project is within the existing ROW and there is proof of said ROW limits, Permissive Licensing Fees have been implemented, Qualified Opportunity Zone, Sufficiency Rating, Culvert Condition Rating, Pavement Condition Rating, Regional Connector, Number of Users, and Public Facility. Each project has a maximum score of 100 points. All factors are not used for every project.

Category

Project Type that Category is Used For

Maximum Points

Weight Factor

Total Points

Economic Health

All Projects

10

2

20

Annual Average Daily Traffic

All Projects

10

1

10

Roadway Functional Classification

All Projects

10

1.5

15

Letter of Support from County Engineer

All Projects

5

1

5

Project within existing ROW and proof of said ROW

All Projects

5

1

5

Implemented permissive licensing fees

All Projects

5

1

5

Qualified Opportunity Zone

All Projects

10

2

20

Sufficiency Rating

Culverts

10

1

10

Culvert Condition Rating

Culverts

10

1

10

Pavement Condition Rating

Roadway

10

1

10

Regional Connector

Roadway

10

1

10

Number of Users

Sidewalk

10

1

10

Public Facility

Sidewalk

10

1

10

A description and explanation of the scoring criteria is outlined below.

1. Economic Health

This item recognizes that Ohio local governments are not equal in their financial wealth.  To achieve some measure of equity among entities, the level of economic distress is evaluated based on the unemployment rate in the county where the project sponsor is located (current rate posted on the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services website).  The Economic Health factor awards points to local entities having an unemployment rate that is higher than the statewide rate.

Municipal Unemployment Rate in Relation to the Statewide Rate

Points

2.1% or greater than statewide rate

10

1.6%-2% greater than statewide rate

8

1.1%-1.5% greater than statewide rate

6

0.6%-1.0% greater than statewide rate

4

0.1 – 0.5% greater than statewide rate

2

equal to or below statewide average

0

This category has a weight factor of 2, for a maximum total point value of 20.

2. Annual Average Daily Traffic*

This item accounts for the project’s significance to the area and is based on the Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT).  AADT is the volume of existing traffic on the route annualized to a daily average. The existing AADT should be provided on the application, not an anticipated future AADT. This information can be obtained in the Transportation Information Mapping System (TIMS) by creating a map: Ohio Transportation Information | ODOT TIMS (state.oh.us). A township should find the project location and then under “Layers” click on “Roadway Information” and then on “Traffic Count Segments”. If the information is available in TIMS, it will show up on the proposed route. A township’s respective county engineer or ODOT District LPA personnel can also help the township obtain the necessary information for the application.

AADT

Points

251 or greater

10

201-250

8

151-200

6

101-150

4

51-100

2

0-50

0

This category has a weight factor of 1, for a maximum total point value of 10.

3. Roadway Functional Classification

The Roadway Functional Classification is a highway’s ranking in a defined hierarchy.  Affected routes in this program are typically classified as Principal Arterial, Minor Arterial, Collector or Local. As this is a program designed to fund projects not normally eligible for Federal funding, higher points are awarded to local routes. This information can be obtained in the Transportation Information Mapping System (TIMS) by creating a map: Ohio Transportation Information | ODOT TIMS (state.oh.us). A township should find the project location and then under “Layers” click on “Roadway Information” and then on “Functional Class”. If the information is available in TIMS, it will show up on the proposed route. A township’s respective county engineer or ODOT District LPA personnel can also help the township obtain the necessary information for the application.

Functional Class

Points

Local

10

Collector

6

Minor Arterial

3

Principal Arterial

1

This category has a weight factor of 1.5, for a maximum total point value of 15.

4. Letter of Support from County Engineer

It is important that local governments communicate and work together on projects that may impact each other’s jurisdictions. Therefore, 5 points will be awarded to each applicant that has a letter of support from their respective county engineer. This ensures all parties are aware of the anticipated project and can plan and collaborate accordingly on projects that may impact or affect the proposed project.

Letter of Support from County Engineer

Points

Letter of Support

5

No Letter of Support

0

This category has a weight factor of 1, for a maximum total point value of 5.

5. Project Within Existing Right-of-Way and Documentation of Said Right-of-Way

It is the intent of this program to provide funding to as many Ohio townships as possible while minimizing costs. Therefore, if the township can provide documentation of ownership of the right-of-way for the proposed project and that project stays within existing right-of-way, 5 points will be awarded to each applicant.

Within existing ROW and proof of ROW

Points

Yes

5

No

0

This category has a weight factor of 1, for a maximum total point value of 5.

6. Implemented Permissive Licensing Fees

Implementing permissive licensing fees in accordance with ORC 4504.18 and 4504.181 demonstrates a willingness by the township to generate additional revenue to pay for needed township projects. More information can be found at Microsoft Word - Vehicle Registration Permissive Tax FAQs 2019 07 03.docx (ohio.gov)

Implemented Permissive Licensing Fees

Points

Yes

5

No

0

This category has a weight factor of 1, for a maximum total point value of 5.

7. Qualified Opportunity Zone

Working with the U.S. Treasury, Ohio established 320 Qualified Opportunity Zones throughout the state. The selected areas typically show potential for job creation and contain opportunities for investment and development. If a township (not the project) is wholly or partially within a Qualified Opportunity Zone, 10 point will be given to the applicant. A map of Qualified Opportunity Zones can be found at Ohio Qualified Opportunity Zone Designations (arcgis.com).

Within a Qualified Opportunity Zone

Points

Yes

10

No

0

This category has a weight factor of 2, for a maximum total point value of 20.

8. Sufficiency Rating

Sufficiency Rating (SR) is a measure of the adequacy of a culvert to meet the needs of the travelling public. The SR for a culvert is between 0 and 100. The lower the SR rating for a culvert, the less it meets the needs of the traveling public. The required information can be found within the Bridge Inventory Report in AssetWise (formerly SMS). If there is no sufficiency rating currently determined, complete the Sufficiency Rating Input Items form located on the website. The form and all pictures should then be emailed to our Office of Structural Engineering (OSE) at Omar.Abu-Hajar@dot.ohio.gov. Omar will then assign a value for the sufficiency rating that can be entered into the application. Requests for a value assignment must be submitted to Omar no later than Friday, November 12, 2021 to allow adequate time for review. The correspondence between the applicant and OSE should be submitted with the application to verify the rating.

Sufficiency Rating

Points

39 and less

10

40-49

8

50-59

6

60-69

4

70-79

2

80 and greater

0

This category has a weight factor of 1, for a maximum total point value of 10.

9. Culvert Condition Rating

The Culvert Condition Rating is a composite measure of the major structure items of the culvert. It is based on the existing condition of the culvert as comparted to its as-built condition. The rating is from 0-9 with a rating of 5 or more being a culvert in acceptable condition. The required information can be found within the Bridge Inventory Report in AssetWise (formerly SMS). If there is no culvert condition rating currently determined, email sufficient pictures showing the condition of the bridge to our Office of Structural Engineering (OSE) at Omar.Abu-Hajar@dot.ohio.gov. Omar will then assign a value for the culvert condition rating that can be entered into the application. Requests for a value assignment must be submitted to Omar no later than Friday, November 12, 2021 to allow adequate time for review. The correspondence between the applicant and OSE should be submitted with the application to verify the rating.

General Appraisal

Points

1-2

10

3

8

4

6

5-9

0

This category has a weight factor of 1, for a maximum total point value of 10.

10.  Pavement Condition Rating (PCR)

The PCR is a visual survey of pavement deficiencies. The pavements are rated on a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 being perfect. This rating looks at items such as cracking, potholes, deterioration of the pavement and other factors (see the ODOT Pavement Condition Rating Manual for details). This information can be obtained in the Transportation Information Mapping System (TIMS) by creating a map: Ohio Transportation Information | ODOT TIMS (state.oh.us). A township should find the project location and then under “Layers” click on “Roadway Information” and then on “PCR (State)” or “PCR (Local)” depending on the route. If the information is available in TIMS, it will show up on the proposed route. A township’s respective county engineer or ODOT District LPA personnel can also help the township obtain the necessary information for the application.

Pavement Condition

Points

0-54

10

55-64

5

65-84

2

85-100

0

The Pavement Condition (PCR) category has a weight factor of 1, for a maximum total point value of 10.

11. Regional Connector

This scoring criterial looks at if the proposed project serves as a primary route between two municipalities and/or connects major roads.

Regional Connector

Points

Yes

10

No

0

This category has a weight factor of 1, for a maximum total point value of 10.

12. Number of Users

This can be an actual or estimated number of users of the repaired or constructed sidewalks. However, the information provided in the application must have data to support the number of users given. Data can be collected by manual counts, cameras, etc. A counter is available for loan from ODOT’s Equipment Loan Program. More information on the loan program can be found at: Equipment Loan Program | Ohio Department of Transportation.

Number of Users

Points

251 or greater

10

201-250

8

151-200

6

101-150

4

51-100

2

0-50

0

This category has a weight factor of 1, for a maximum total point value of 10.

13. Public Facility

Points will be awarded if the proposed project serves as a major connector to a school, medical center, library, government facility, low income housing neighborhood, nursing home, etc. The application will require applicants to describe the public facilities the proposed project impacts.

Does the Project Serve a Public Facility

Points

Yes

10

No

0

This category has a weight factor of 1, for a maximum total point value of 10.

*The value assigned to these scoring criteria items do not have to be 100% exact, as long as there is a logical and reasonable explanation for how the value was attained.