By JIM MAURER
STAFF WRITER

The replacement of Findlay’s Osborn Avenue bridge over the Blanchard River near Riverside Park is expected to begin next month and be completed in November, Hancock County Assistant Engineer Doug Cade said Thursday.

The Hancock County commissioners approved a resolution appropriating about $1,039,033 to the county’s Ohio Department of Transportation State Grant Fund.

The project is estimated at $2,005,000 and the county will pay about $100,000, Cade said. Grants will pay the remainder.

The reconstruction will lower the bridge to improve sight lines for motorists on each end of the bridge who are trying to turn onto Osborn Avenue.

The road beneath the bridge, which allowed motorists to avoid those awkward turns, will be removed. That road was closed last September after a truck hit the underside of the bridge while trying to take the shortcut.

Separately, the commissioners approved a resolution to contract for replacement of a home sewage treatment system at a residence on Ohio 568. Kershner Excavating, McComb, received the contract for $16,420. A grant will pay about $14,508 and the property owner will pay the remainder of the $17,069 cost.

Also, board President Mark Gazarek said he talked with state Sen. Cliff Hite, R-Findlay, about a proposed reduction in the state budget of Medicaid sales tax payments to counties. Hancock County would lose $400,000 under the proposal, and Gazarek said there are no replacement funds in the budget to cover the amount.

Commissioners Brian Robertson and Tim Bechtol were urged by Gazarek to contact state legislators and voice their opinion. The commissioners recently sent a letter to senators and representatives voicing their concern.

The commissioners also set 6:30 p.m. July 27 at The Cube, 3430 N. Main St., for a “final hearing on engineer’s reports on estimated assessments, on the proceedings for the improvement, and on claims for compensation and damages” related to the Dalzel Ditch maintenance project.

The commissioners also held a closed executive session to discuss potential real estate acquisition. No action was taken.

Maurer: 419-427-8420
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