In a continued effort to maintain transparency and promote the fiscally responsible and effective plan being implemented with the additional levy funds, I want to present the taxpaying citizens of the City of Tiffin with the 2024 Road & Bridge Levy Annual Update.
In 2023, the total revenue generated from the additional 0.25% income tax was $1,528,896.61. This established a new all-time high for annual revenue, and was an increase from the $1,524,103.48 collected in 2022. The annual expenses from this restricted fund were $1,971,659.84. These expenses breakdown as follows: $274,422.52 (Street Resurfacing Projects), $1,691,910.98 (Ella Street River Bridge Project) and $5,326.34 (East Perry Street Reconstruction Project). The carryover within the fund entering into fiscal year 2024 is $843,261.41.
In 2023, the City of Tiffin was successfully able to utilize the Road & Bridge Levy funds to resurface a portion of 11 streets within our city. Although only $274,422.52 was expended from Road & Bridge Levy funds, the total street paving investment in 2023 was $1,248,176.29. This was accomplished via the city obtaining an 80% federally funded Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Urban Paving Grant for the resurfacing of portions of South Washington Street and West Market Street as well as the city obtaining a $500,000, 0%, five year term loan from the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) for the resurfacing of the additional nine city streets. In 2024, the City of Tiffin is proposing to continue our increased investment by budgeting $1,402,000 toward street resurfacing, which is more than three times the amount typically spent on street resurfacing prior to the passage of the levy in 2018. The proposed $1,402,000 budget breaks down as follows: $100,000 annual payment for the city’s $500,000, 0% interest, five year term loan from OPWC which was obtained for the 2023 Annual Street Paving Project; $1,228.67 final payment to ODOT for the city’s portion of the Urban Paving Project that was completed in 2021, which resurfaced South Washington Street, Melmore Street and South Sandusky Street; with the remaining funds being utilized for this upcoming year’s 2024 Annual Street Paving Program. The purpose of the $500,000, 0%, five year term loan from OPWC was to ensure the city was continuing to properly invest in street resurfacing simultaneously with the significant investment needed for the construction of the Ella Street River Bridge. The five year term loan will ensure the principal is completely paid off prior to the current levy expiring.
Additionally in 2023, the City of Tiffin substantially completed the construction of the Ella Street River Bridge Replacement Project. The $1,691,910.98 Road & Bridge Levy Fund investment, in addition to the $2,000,000 in federal funding received via ODOT’s Municipal Bridge Program and the $500,000 of state funding received via OPWC was utilized to pay all invoices to date for the construction (ES Wagner Co.) and the consultant (American Structurepoint, Inc.) contracts entered into for this project. Final payment for this project will be paid this spring once all restoration and punch list items have been completed.
Furthermore in 2023, the City of Tiffin finalized the construction of the East Perry Street Reconstruction Project. The $5,326.34 Road & Bridge Levy Fund investment, in addition to the 95% in federal funding received via ODOT’s Small Cities Program, and funding from the city’s State Highway Fund were utilized to pay all invoices to date for the construction (Helms & Sons Excavating, Inc.) and the consultant (DGL Consulting Engineers, LLC) contracts for this project. Final payment for this project will be paid once all contract closeout documents have been submitted to the city.
In 2024, in addition to the budgeted $1,402,000 in investment toward street resurfacing, Road & Bridge Levy funds have been budgeted toward final payments for both the construction and consultant contracts for the Ella Street River Bridge Project, final payment for the consulting contract for the East Perry Street Reconstruction Project, consulting services for the design of the South Sandusky Street Culvert Replacement Project, consulting services for the design of the US 224 Urban Paving Project and consulting services for the design of the North Sandusky Street Project.
The South Sandusky Street Culvert Replacement project is scoped to replace the city’s only currently remaining culvert under a roadway requiring replacement. This culvert is located near the intersection of South Sandusky Street and Cottage Avenue and the replacement of this culvert is tentatively scheduled to take place in 2026.
The US 224 Urban Paving Project proposes to resurface US 224 between West Market Street (SR 18) and Fair Lane. The city secured a federally funded ODOT Urban Paving Program grant to assist with 80% of the cost up to a maximum $330,000 for this project.
The North Sandusky Street Project proposes to fully reconstruct North Sandusky Street between Hall Street and Tomb Street, resurface North Sandusky Street between Tomb Street and the city’s northerly corporation limits and improve access management and signalization within the Six’s Corners intersection. The city secured three federally funded grants via ODOT to assist with the cost of this project; 95% up to a maximum of $1,658,961 from the Small Cities Program to assist with the reconstruction between Hall Street and Tomb Street, 80% up to a maximum of $500,000 from the Urban Paving Program to assist with the resurfacing costs between Tomb Street and the city’s northerly corporation limits and $50,000 for the design and 80% up to $387,725 from the Abbreviated Safety Program toward the construction improvements for the Six’s Corners intersection.
As the City Engineer for the City of Tiffin, I feel that since the passage of the levy in 2018 we have begun taking the appropriate measures toward properly investing in the future of our 89 miles of roadway, 13 city maintained bridges and 15 roadway culverts. Since the levy’s passage nearly six years ago, we have been proactive in leveraging as much Road and Bridge Levy funds as possible with state and federal grant dollars and have successfully secured approximately $7.7 million in additional road and bridge grant funding to date. This $7.7 million of additional funding has allowed the City of Tiffin to double our investment in our community as we have been able to obtain $2 worth of infrastructure improvements for every additional local tax dollar collected. Thus, these numbers further support the importance of this levy and the fact that we have stuck to our word and have created the foundation of a fiscally responsible and effective plan. Again, I cannot thank the residents of the City of Tiffin enough for their trust and support in the plan that we have created and I look forward to continue to implement the plan to improve the City of Tiffin’s infrastructure for many years to come!
Matt Watson, PE, PS, CPESC, CESSWI, CFM
City of Tiffin