PORTSMOUTH — The city of Portsmouth expects to be reimbursed for the $250,000 cost of a water line relocation project required by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT).
The city was notified by ODOT that the water line located in the vicinity of Ohio River Road, near a junction with U.S. 52 had to be relocated for the Portsmouth Bypass project (State Route 823).
The waterline relocation has been known for some time but there had a a delay caused by the attempt to determine which entity would pay for the relocation.
ODOT has funding for the relocation of utilities, but those funds were only available to the county and the city of Portsmouth does not have the funds available to relocate the line which is estimated to cost approximately $250,000.
Meanwhile, Portsmouth City Solicitor John Haas has been communicated and working with Scioto County officials to create an agreement guarantying reimbursement to the city.
Portsmouth City Manager Derek K. Allen said there had been a verbal agreement between the two government entities, but he insisted the city obtain written confirmation it would receive full reimbursement.
Allen said it was determined that ODOT would reimburse the county for the water line and the county would, in turn, pass that reimbursement to the city. The reimbursement is made possible by proving that the water line was constructed with a county purpose, and, as it turns out, the water line was installed to service the old County Children’s Home.
There was a drought and the well for the Children’s Home dried up necessitating the need to run a water line to the Children’s Home. The city installed an 8-inch water line and the parties agreeds that the city would maintain the line which it has and the county agreed to make any replacement or repairs resulting from “lightning, flood or from any act of God or public enemy.”
Allen is asking City Council to appropriate $250,000 to fund 606 Water Capital Improvement account 606-771-5521 “water lines.”
Allen added, that because the money will be reimbursed, the action will have zero financial impact to the city.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.