us-30-coalition-mapPlymouth City Attorney Sean Surrisi presented a request for a donation from the U.S. 30 Coalition during Monday’s Common Council meeting.  He said the city has been involved in the coalition for about a year and a half.

us-30-coalition-map_plymouthThe organization is formed much like the U.S. 31 Coalition to help drive the policy and work with the legislature to get funding for all the improvements along the roadway from Fort Wayne to Valparaiso.   Surrisi said, “The organization is a voice for the communities and lobbying effort for the general assembly to try and help shape the project.”  He indicated that there are many along the U.S. 30 corridor that would like to see it become a freeway similar to U.S. 31 from Plymouth to South Bend.

The coalition is meeting every couple of months and Plymouth Mayor Mark Senter and Jerry Chavez from the Marshall County Economic Development Corporation are the representatives from Marshall County.

us-30-coalition-map_fort-wayneSurrisi said some communities along the route are much further along in the process like Columbia City.  If U.S. 30 was to become a freeway they have sought public input on what the community would like it to look like.   They are more in favor of something like U.S. 31 between Westfield and Carmel with through traffic while Warsaw is more interested in a bypass similar to Kokomo’s project on U.S. 31.

This group is trying to make sure all communities along the route have a voice for when the project may actually come.  They will be advocating in next year’s state budget as long term planning for roads will be a primary focus of the general assembly to get this project on the radar for eventual funding.  It was estimated that project could be 10 to 20 years out.

us-30-coalition-map_merrillvilleMayor Senter said, “We’ve got it pretty easy right here with 4 stops and a problematic Plymouth Goshen Trail compared to Warsaw and Columbia City and Valparaiso and Merrillville.”

The request was for a $10,000 donation.

Councilman Don Ecker asked if the money was in the 2017 budget and Surrisi said it wasn’t but a resolution presented would transfer funding for the donation.

Councilman Shawn Grobe asked what the funding would be used for and Surrisi said the coalition has contracted with a consulting firm.  Most of the money will go toward fees for their work for the meetings and working with the general assembly.   Grobe also asked how the amount of the donation was determined and the mayor said it’s the same amount for every county along the roadway.

Councilman Gary Cooks said, “As the former chairman of the house roads and transportation committee, I think it’s a vital situation that we need to be involved in.”

The council unanimously approved the donation request and resolution to transfer the funds for the donation.