The Washington City Council will make a final decision in August on whether or not to participate in helping fund a new Augusta Bottom Road in Warren County.
The council voted during a committee meeting Monday night to recommend contributing $70,000 toward the proposed project if a federal grant is awarded to Warren County.
Last month, members of the Washington Area Highway Transportation Committee recommended that the city participate after learning that there was the opportunity to get federal disaster grant funds to build a new road and that Warren County had agreed to put up the 20 percent match for 1.6 miles of the 1.85-mile roadway.
Warren County has indicated it will not provide matching funds for the section known as the Augusta Parkway, which would require an estimated $100,000 to rebuild, according to City Engineer Dan Boyce.
“Warren County will not participate in the Augusta Parkway,” he told the council.
That section of the road was rebuilt after it was washed out by the 1993 flood, which left behind large ponds on either side. Warren County commissioners contend that the Augusta Parkway, while in Warren County, is owned by the town of Augusta which received federal funds to rebuild that section after the major flood.
The city of Augusta has committed $10,000 a year for three years for Augusta Parkway leaving about $70,000 to match the grant for that portion.
“First of all, thank you, Warren County, for stepping up and doing what is right in terms of matching this grant,” said Councilman Tim Brinker. “It is time for Washington to step up and participate in this thing more than we have.”
Brinker said $70,000 was a manageable figure for Washington and the improvements to Augusta Bottom Road fit perfectly into the transportation plan.
“We just got approved for a new bridge. We are going to have a new structure and a new portion of the highway entering Warren County,” he said. “From that point on Highway 47 we could potentially have a new artery going into St. Charles County a short distance.”
The motion to recommend allocating $70,000 toward the project match was approved on a 6-1 vote. Josh Brinker was the only member voting no. Joe Holtmeier was absent.
The total project is expected to cost between $2.7 million and $3 million.
The federal Economic Development Administration has allocated $51 million for disaster projects from the 2011 fiscal year in a 10-state area that includes Missouri.
Warren County qualifies because it had three disaster declarations last year.
If the application is submitted by September, the county likely would be notified of the EDA’s decision by October or November.
Even though the road is not in the city’s jurisdiction, the transportation committee has been pushing for improvements to the bottom road for many years because it serves as a vital link between Washington and areas of St. Charles County, including Augusta.
Those efforts were intensified after a 16-year-old Washington girl died in late 2010 when she crashed her car into a large pond along what is known as the Augusta Parkway.
Recently, the city council approved a $2,000 match for a state grant to conduct a safety analysis along the road.