NORTHFIELD CENTER — The township has received $32,290 in grant money from the Ohio Department of Transportation to be used for for replacing and adding traffic safety signs along its roads.

The township’s portion of the grant — $19,626 — will fund 332 signs, posts and hardware. Since the township did not need the full amount of grant money — $50,000 — the grant was split with Boston Heights, which was awarded $13,664 for 205 signs.

Service Director-Road Superintendent Rick Youel said the township has received the posts and attachments from the state, but is waiting on the actual signs before starting to put them up.

"We have marked off some areas where the signs will go," he explained. "We have to be careful where we place the posts because some areas [particularly new developments] have underground utility lines."

Youel added once the signs arrive, a couple of service department workers will go out when the weather is favorable and begin installing them.

The signs must be installed within one year of the federal authorization date of the township’s project, and the township may be granted a one-year extension for "good cause."

Youel said there should be no problem meeting the deadline.

According to township officials, Youel and Boston Heights Road Superintendent Charles T. Pickering, a former Northfield Center road superintendent, spent hours driving their respective roads to determine which signs to replace, plus signs to be added.

According to ODOT’s website, the grant program provides up to $50,000 in safety sign materials for townships which have been determined to:

• Have a greater than average crash rating across their entire township based on crash history over the previous five years.

• Have not previously received funding under the grant program.

Northfield Center was invited to apply for funds in the 2017 cycle. This year, the state’s top 200 townships meeting the criteria were eligible to apply. Normally the amount is 100 townships each year.

The grant does not require the local governments to contribute matching funds. However, the townships must commit to install the signs with their own labor. Signs will not be placed on county or state highways.

Township officials said the grant, written by Youel, should take care of local sign needs for years to come.

"Any time we can get some state funds, it really helps our budget," said Youel. "We’ve been fortunate to get some funds in the past for things such as road paving. The sign grant is much appreciated."

Residents can contact the Township Hall at townhall@northfieldcenter.com if they would like a detailed accounting of the signs received via the grant.

klahmers@recordpub.com

330-541-9400 ext. 4189