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State is slow to reimburse Albion for bridge costs thus far

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 May 2014 at 12:00 am

ALBION – The village of Albion believes it has been shorted about $8,800 so far for the engineering and design work on the Clarendon Street bridge, money the village says it is owed by the state.

The bridge engineering, design and construction was to be funded with 80 percent from the federal government, 15 percent from the state and 5 percent from the village. The village has to front the money and then it is supposed to get reimbursed.

Village Clerk Linda Babcock says the village is owed $8,791 after being shorted by the state since 2012. She is pressing the state Department of Transportation for the money.

The delayed and reduced reimbursement adds insult to injury for the village with the bridge project. The village was notified earlier this month that costs for the project jumped nearly $600,000 and additional federal and state aid wouldn’t be available for the increase. The village would have to fully foot the added costs.

The Village Board says that is too much for village taxpayers. The board is now considering demolishing the bridge and having the street blocked off by the railroad tracks.

The board will take public comments about that proposal during its 7 p.m. June 11 meeting at Village Hall. The village expects to have renderings of what the blocked off street will look like near the railroad tracks.