City and County Awarded CDBG Funds to Finish North Oakland Street Improvements

City and County Awarded CDBG Funds to Finish North Oakland Street Improvements

May 31, 2018

(Urbana, OH) – The City of Urbana and Champaign County successfully cooperated and obtained a grant award of $300,000 to complete the curb, gutter, and sidewalk improvements along North Oakland Street in Urbana. 

“The third time’s a charm,” said Doug Crabill, Urbana’s Community Development Manager referring to the number of times it took to get this grant funded.

The grant is federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding, and that program can only run locally through the Champaign County Board of Commissioners.  CDBG funding is limited to projects that benefit low to moderate income neighborhoods within eligible census tracts or eliminate slum and blight.  Every two years, a committee allocates modest funding to projects around the county, but this $300,000 grant is part of a related program known as Critical Infrastructure.  It is very competitive among other communities in the state; in fact, Urbana is among only seven out of twenty projects statewide to be awarded funding in this round.

The project will complete the replacement of failing combination curb and gutter, sidewalks, and catch basins that were originally installed in 1961 along 6 blocks of North Oakland Street.  The following outcomes from the completed project: 232 square yards of 6" concrete pavement for drive approaches; 11,606 square feet of 4" concrete sidewalk; 3,399 lineal feet of combination curb and gutter, and 12 catch basins.

“The existing storm water curb inlets on North Oakland are an outdated design and introduce a hazard to pedestrians in the sidewalk path.  Those that haven’t already been replaced are in dire need,” said Tyler Bumbalough, City Engineer. 

The City had been relying on the much smaller CDBG allocations to complete North Oakland Street in phases.  This year, however, Urbana and Champaign County worked with the LUC Regional Planning Commission to craft the Critical Infrastructure application.  However, limited funds statewide and competing projects elsewhere kept the North Oakland Street project unfunded in two previous funding rounds.  In the city’s third attempt to obtain funding, the Ohio Development Services Agency, the state’s CDBG decision makers visited Urbana and saw the existing condition of the infrastructure on North Oakland Street firsthand.

This successful grant is bringing outside money into Champaign County and Urbana to pay for at least 90% of the project to complete the final 6 blocks of North Oakland Street.  In addition, the City of Urbana is leveraging up to $33,000.00 in local capital improvement funds for the project which will go mainly toward the replacement of catch basins.

The City anticipates bidding for the project later this summer and completing the work before year end, weather permitting.   This project is part of the City’s ongoing efforts to improve and/or replace infrastructure by obtaining grant funds whenever they are available to pursue through state and federal sources.

Media Contacts:
Doug Crabill
Community Development Manager; City of Urbana

Tyler Bumbalough
City Engineer; City of Urbana

Dave Gulden
Director, LUC Regional Planning Commission
Champaign County CDBG Consultant