Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Classifying Roads Affects Funding

Federal agencies sort roads into seven categories and those roads must be reviewed every 10 years. How roads are categorized determines federal appropriations TMACOG receives. The regional review is now underway at TMACOG.

TMACOG is addressing road classification in Lucas and Wood counties and parts of Fulton and Ottawa counties that fall in the Toledo Urbanized Area. TMACOG coordinates this project with the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) which is responsible for classification in Monroe County.

TMACOG Transportation Planner Lisa Householder said that with growth of suburban communities, traffic patterns have changed. She said,
“For example, Waterville has grown from a village to a city since we last reviewed streets. And the realignment of US 24 is completed. There will be classification changes there.”

Upcoming Events - December 2013

Helping Small Communities Meet Their Water and Wastewater System Needs: Presented by Small Communities Environmental Infrastructure Group
Tuesday, December 3, noon-1:30 p.m.
Contact: Joyce Gray, Ohio Rural Community Assistance Program (RCAP), 440.331.6804

TMACOG Leadership Retreat
Wednesday, December 18, 2:30 – 4 p.m. at the Grand Lobby of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza
Contact: Tony Reams, 419.241.9155, ext. 179

Informational Meeting for Clean Ohio Fund Applicants
Wednesday, December 18, 10 a.m., TMACOG Boardroom
Contact: Kurt Erichsen, 419.241.9155 ext. 126

TMACOG General Assembly
Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at the Holiday Inn French Quarter, Perrysburg
Contact: Tony Reams, 419.241.9155, ext. 179

Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments | www.tmacog.org

Looking at Transportation in 2045

Our current long range transportation plan, the 2035 Transportation Plan, emphasized investment in our multimodal system but focused much of our federal spending on updating our expressways. The next plan –  for 2015-2045 – is just getting started. TMACOG is asking, how should we focus the next long range plan?
As the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Lucas and Wood counties in Ohio and southern Monroe County, Michigan, TMACOG solicits input from all users of the transportation system to maintain our region’s plans. Providers of transportation services, freight operators, commuters, cyclists, and pedestrians all have a stake in how we decide how best to move goods and people.

The 2045 plan will be developed over the next two years. Letters have gone out to major stakeholders in the region asking them to provide their input or to participate in work groups. Public meetings and surveys will roll out in February and March, 2014. See our region’s current plan here and look for opportunities to contribute to the new plan coming soon.  

Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments | www.tmacog.org

MEMBER HIGHLIGHT: The Village of Weston

The Wood County village of Weston is just over one square mile and home to about 1,600 residents. The village is west of Bowling Green and south of Grand Rapids. Weston was a founding member of TMACOG in 1968 and recently renewed membership.

Village officials stay busy, working on park improvements, road repair, and economic development projects. This year, the village joined in with several other Wood County communities to apply to the Ohio Public Works Commission for road repair funding. 

Directory of Public Officials

Your help is needed as TMACOG updates the annual Directory of Public Officials. Each year, TMACOG staff updates information for elected and appointed officials in 15 counties, 27 cities, 95 villages, 177 townships, and nine park districts. In addition, the directory includes contact information for chambers of commerce, school districts, and scores of government agencies from farm bureaus to port authorities, to mental health boards. To ensure that we publish correct information, TMACOG staff e-mails or sends letters to every one of the 900 or more entries in the directory, asking for updated information.

Non-elected entries – like schools and public agencies – received letters of request in late October. Counties, cities, villages, and townships will get letters before the end of the calendar year. The 2014 directory will be published in March. To ensure that the TMACOG Directory of Public Officials remains the best single resource for information on government in this region, please return the request promptly. The directory is a benefit of membership and is provided free to members. Non-members can purchase a copy for $150. If you have any questions about the directory, please contact TMACOG Director of Communications, Peggy Ricard at 419.241.9155 ext. 105. 

Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments | www.tmacog.org

MEMBER NEWS Ohio Lake Erie Commission

Paul Toth, president and CEO of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, was recently selected by Ohio Governor John Kasich as one of four new appointees to serve on the Ohio Lake Erie Commission (OLEC).

“I’m very excited and grateful to begin serving on the Ohio Lake Erie Commission,” said Mr. Toth. “The goals of the OLEC and the goals of the Port Authority are in perfect alignment. Both value Lake Erie as an irreplaceable resource that provides environmental and economic benefits to northwest Ohio. The Port Authority has a history of implementing the best environmental practices by successfully cleaning up brownfield sites and implementing energy efficient projects throughout the region, and is dedicated to improving our community’s quality of life.”

Among other duties, the commission oversees the management of the Lake Erie Protection Fund. Commissioners coordinate state and local policies pertaining to Lake Erie water quality, pollution control, and resource protection. They make recommendations about policies for protection of the lake resources that are consistent with the Great Lakes water quality agreement.

TIP Applications Due Jan. 31, 2014

The fiscal year 2014 -2017 Transportation Improvement Program (the TIP) has been approved by the state of Ohio and TMACOG is accepting applications from communities in Lucas and Wood counties to fill the project pipeline for the next two to three years. Applications for Surface Transportation Program (STP) projects are due January 31, 2014.

See the project budget detail form and print the application package here  (Word and PDF formats provided). For more information, contact TMACOG Transportation Project Manager David Gedeon at 419.241.9155 ext. 125.

Ohio Commended For Road Safety

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has awarded the 2013 Safety Leadership Award to the state of Ohio. The award was presented to ODOT Director Jerry Wray at the AASHTO annual meeting in Colorado.  Ohio leaders have been commended for their commitment to studying road use and crash data and to partnership with local governments and organizations across Ohio. These partnerships – including with MPOs like TMACOG – have led to cost-effective improvements that have contributed to record-law crashes. Over the past decade, Ohio traffic-related deaths have dropped by 28 percent and serious injuries have dropped by 20 percent. This year, Ohio may reach a new historic low by dipping below 1,000 traffic fatalities statewide.

TMACOG recently completed the Safety Locations and Measures Report for Lucas and Wood counties and southern Monroe County, Michigan. It shows that fatal crashes in the TMACOG planning area have consistently been less than Ohio statewide averages. Serious injury and fatal crash rates have also been holding steady or trending down over the past several years. TMACOG’s Safety Locations and Measures Report is a collection and analysis of crash data that is used by regional planners and engineers. TMACOG’s System Performance and Monitoring committee uses the report to select specific highway locations where safety measures are recommended for implementation.

Portage River Plan Endorsed

The Ohio EPA and Ohio Department of Natural Resources have announced their full endorsement of the Portage River Watershed Action Plan Update. The updated plan, completed by the TMACOG Environmental Planning department in early 2013, expanded the original 2012 study area from nine hydrologic unit codes (HUCs) to the entire river basin: 18 HUCs.

An endorsed watershed plan is a critical tool for groups working to protect public health and improve water quality. Watershed plans are recognized by state and federal regulators as primary planning documents and projects based on such plans receive preferential funding. The plan is posted on the Portage River Basin Council pages of tmacog.org here. TMACOG’s Executive Committee and Board of Trustees will review and evaluate the Portage River plan at their regularly scheduled meetings.

Clean Ohio Applicants Urged to Attend

Local governments, park districts, and non-profit organizations in Lucas County that plan to apply for grants from the Clean Ohio Fund are strongly encouraged to attend an informational meeting December 18 at 10 a.m. at TMACOG offices. This round of grants will allocate $1,268,954 for open space acquisition and preservation.

At the December 18 meeting, members of the Lucas County Natural Resources Assistance Council (NRAC) will explain the program and its goals and answer questions about the evaluation process. Applicants are encouraged to offer tours of their project sites for council members as part of the process.
Application forms and program information can also be found on the TMACOG website here. For questions contact, Kurt Erichsen, TMACOG vice president of Environmental Planning and NRAC District 12 Liaison, at 419.241.9155 ext. 126.

The deadline for completed applications is 5 p.m. on March 12, 2014.  Applications should be submitted to TMACOG. All applicants will be notified of NRAC’s recommendation by April 30, 2014.

Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments | www.tmacog.org

Annual TMACOG General Assembly

All TMACOG members are invited to attend the annual General Assembly Wednesday, January 29, 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Holiday Inn French Quarter, Perrysburg, to elect leadership, participate in caucus sessions, and choose committee assignments. Our keynote speaker, Dan Anderson of The Andersons, will speak about Agri-business and its local, regional, and global impact. See details and agenda after the jump. 

Ohio Long Range Plan – Comments Invited

ODOT has completed a draft of Access Ohio 2040, the state’s new long range transportation plan. Interested people can view the 11 recommendations that will guide ODOT policies and strategies in the coming years and provide comments and suggestions. See the plan and leave comments at www.accessohio2040.