$1.6B bond election could provide a quicker start for road projects totaling $230M

West Virginia- On Oct. 7, a $1.6 billion bond election will take place for the Roads to Prosperity Highway Program referendum. The bonds would be sold to pay for road work in Monongalia County and then paid back with car sales, gas taxes and an increased fee for motor vehicle registration. Eight projects in Monongalia County would be funded with the general obligation bonds. The projects, totaling $230 million, include the following:
– Work on .59 mile of the Mileground from Donna Avenue to County Route 857, Easton area – $15 million;
– Widening the Mileground from the Roundabout to the Morgantown Municipal Airport – $27 million;
– Improving and widening the Green Bag Road from the Kingwood Pike to White Park – $16 million;
– Improving and widening West Run Road – $13 million;
– Widening, improving drainage and adding a sidewalk to part of Van Voorhis Road – $11 million;
– Improving and widening Beechurst Avenue from Sixth to Eighth streets, near the Seneca Center shopping plaza – $8 million;
– Building directional ramps at the Interstate 79 Star City interchange and improving Chaplin Hill Road – $40 million; and
– Constructing a new connector from I-79 to Morgantown – $100 million.
Projects would advance as they become ready and would begin with those that don’t need rights-of-way purchased or utility work before construction can start.

City of Bloomington looks to revitalize downtown

Illinois- Downtown Bloomington is getting revitalized and in May, the city council unanimously approved the creation of a nine-member task force focused on potential opportunities. Areas of interest include parking, public places, walkability and beautification.
While the task force’s recommendations are not due until December, one suggestion has already gained popularity and spurred motivation- the creation of a hotel district through a private-public partnership. While previous projects have failed, both the task force and the city’s 2015 master plan highlight the need for a new development downtown. These recommendations have attracted the attention of firms interested in developing the land without seeking financial assistance from the city.

Alachua County favors RFP for the purchase of Camp McConnell

Florida- In July, Alachua County purchased 211-acres of property near Micanopy for $1.03 million from the YMCA. While many in the county hope the land is used to continue to provide children affordable recreational activities, the county is exploring options for the area. County officials plan to create a request for proposals (RFP) for those who are interested in purchasing the property.
The RFP process will also include dates for county employees and the public to tour the property and make recommendations on what should be done with the property. The county would like to see the camp run through a private-public partnership, by the county alone or by a private organization. Camp McConnell’s assets include a greenhouse, horse stables, an Olympic-size pool, standard cabins and counselor lodgings.