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2023 City of Tiffin Road & Bridge Levy Annual Update: Matt Watson

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City Engineer Matt Watson. (Official Photo)

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 2023 Road & Bridge Levy Annual Update.

In 2022, the total revenue generated from the additional 0.25% income tax was $1,524,103.48. This established a new all-time high for annual revenue and was an increase from the $1,369,543.13 collected in 2021. The annual expenses from this restricted fund were $994,419.06. These expenses breakdown as follows: $802,225.84 (Street Resurfacing Projects), $40,981.72 (Ella Street River Bridge Project), $56,377.69 (East Perry Street Reconstruction Project) and $94,833.81 (Harvest Lane & Mohawk Street Culvert Projects). The carryover within the fund entering into fiscal year 2023 is $1,286,024.64.

In 2022, the City of Tiffin was successfully able to utilize the Road & Bridge Levy funds to resurface a portion of 19 streets within our city. In 2023, the City of Tiffin is proposing to continue our increased investment on our city streets by budgeting in excess of $1,255,000 toward street resurfacing, which is triple the amount spent on street resurfacing prior to the passage of the levy in 2018. The proposed $1,255,000 budget is comprised of two separate projects. The first project is the 2023 OPWC Pavement Repair Program, which has an estimated cost of $650,000 and proposes to resurface a portion of nine different streets. This project will be funded with $150,000 of current levy funds and a $500,000, 0% interest, 5 year term loan from the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC). The City will pay the $500,000 loan back with upcoming Road & Bridge Levy revenue. The 5 year term loan will ensure the principal is completely paid off prior to the current levy expiring. The second project is the 2023 Urban Paving Project, which has an estimated cost of $605,019.95 of which $513,869.95 is a current construction contract with M&B Asphalt Company and the remaining $91,150.00 is a current consulting contract with DGL Consulting Engineers. This project is scoped to resurface West Market Street between Elmer Street and South Sandusky Street (SR 53) and South Washington Street between Sycamore Street and Glenn Street. The City of Tiffin has secured an Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Urban Paving Program federally funded grant to assist with the funding of this project. Federal funds will be utilized to pay for 80% of the total project costs up to a maximum of $516,000.

In 2022, the City of Tiffin finalized the design and solicited bids for the construction and construction administration and inspection contracts for the Ella Street River Bridge Replacement Project. The city currently has a construction contract with ES Wagner Co. in the amount of $4,155,511.67 and a consulting contract with American Structurepoint, Inc. in the amount of $222,271.12. To date, the City of Tiffin has secured $2,000,000 in federal funding via ODOT’s Municipal Bridge Program and $500,000 of state funding via the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) to assist with offsetting the anticipated $4,377,782.79 remaining costs. Construction is expected to begin this spring, however, Ella Street will not be fully closed until May 30, 2023, per the construction contract. This schedule was created with the intention of reducing the project’s impact on our residents and Tiffin City Schools. This strategized approach only impacts the school system during one school year, which ultimately provides a significant benefit not only to the school district, but also to the residents in regard to planning and transportation. As long as there is cooperative weather throughout the 2023 construction season, the intent is to have the project completed by November 30, 2023.

Furthermore, in 2022, the City of Tiffin finalized the design and solicited bids for the construction and construction administration and inspection contracts for the East Perry Street Reconstruction Project. To date, the city currently has a construction contract with Helms & Sons Excavating, Inc. in the amount of $923,156.45 and a consulting contract with DGL Consulting Engineers in the amount of $182,500.00. This project is scoped to completely rebuild the East Perry Street roadway between Jefferson Street and Circular Street. The City of Tiffin has secured an ODOT Small Cities Program federally funded grant to assist with the funding of this project. Federal funds will be utilized to pay for 95% of the total project costs up to a maximum of $1,210,793. This project is scheduled to be completed by October 31, 2023.

Likewise, in 2022, the City of Tiffin invested in improvements to the Harvest Lane and Mohawk Street culverts. $86,470.32 of Road and Bridge Levy funding was utilized to replace the culvert at the westerly end of Harvest Lane and $8,363.49 of Road and Bridge Levy funding was utilized to repair the existing culvert on Mohawk Street. Fenson Contracting won the public bid and completed the work on the Harvest Lane Culvert and all work performed on the Mohawk Street Culvert was completed internally via the City of Tiffin’s Public Works Department. Annually the City Engineer’s Office performs condition assessment inspections on the city’s roadway culverts and moving forward all but one of the city’s roadside culverts are in sufficient condition. The only remaining culvert requiring future work is the South Sandusky Street Culvert. Engineering and Construction efforts towards replacing this culvert are scheduled to begin in 2024 following the completion of the Ella Street River Bridge Project.

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 13 roadway culverts. Since the levy’s passage nearly five 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 $5.4 million in additional road and bridge grant funding to date. This $5.4 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!

(You can view the 2023 City of Tiffin pavement repair program list by clicking here.)


Matt Watson, PE, PS, CPESC serves as City Engineer for the City of Tiffin. He can be reached via email at [email protected]

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