A request for an additional half million dollars in federal funds to complete the rebuilding of Orchard Drive in Bountiful was turned down Thursday by the Wasatch Front Regional Council.
Bountiful asked for the extra $500,000 in federal urban road funds because of what City Engineer Jack Balling said are unexpected costs the city is incurring, including utility line relocation and storm drains.The request was initially turned down a week ago by council's transportation committee after Sandy Mayor Steve Newton protested the additional funding.
Bountiful already has $1.8 million in federal funds lined up based on its construction cost estimates, Newton said. The council's policy, initiated two years ago, is to fund a maximum 10 percent cost overrun, he said.
The half-million dollar request exceeds that policy, Newton told the transportation committee, so the project should go back onto the list of other projects looking for construction money and fight for its priority ranking again.
At Thursday's session of the council, Newton said he doesn't oppose the Orchard Drive project but funneling extra funds into it will push other projects still farther down the list.
The reconstruction project has been studied and juggled on the priority list for nearly two decades, Newton said, going from its original $1 million cost estimate to nearly $5 million over 20 years.
Half of the project is done, completed last summer, according to Balling, and the city wants to begin construction on the final half as soon as possible. The $1.8 million in federal funds is not enough, he said, but unless the additional $500,000 is approved, the project cannot start this spring and the eventual cost will be even higher.
Newton urged the Thursday to uphold the 10 percent overrun policy, saying the past practice of taking funds from projects lower on the priority list to pay for overruns on current projects is what delayed the the Orchard Drive project for two decades and pushed its cost from $1 million to $5 million.
The council agreed, affirming the already appropriated $1.8 million, but telling Bountiful it will have to come up with the additional $500,000 to complete the work.
The council's vote also reaffirms its 10 percent cost overrun cap policy, said Ogden mayor and transportation commission chairman Robert DeBoer.