Today, Thursday Oct. 28, Johnson County Board of County Commissioners authorized more than $36.7 million in infrastructure funding for two longstanding Johnson County programs to improve local roadways and stormwater systems in 2022.
By separate unanimous votes, the board approved the County Assistance Road System Program and the Stormwater Management Program for the upcoming year. Both programs are managed by the Urban Services Division of the Johnson County Public Works Department.
“These two programs are strong examples of county and city collaboration, utilizing joint funding to improve the major roads in Johnson County and maximize flood control efforts, which benefits all county residents,” said Board Chairman Ed Eilert. “We appreciate the committees for both programs, made up of county and city representatives who together evaluate proposed projects and make recommendations to our board for approval.”
Since 1983, the CARS program has annually provided funding to improve major roads and streets throughout Johnson County. The program has allocated slightly more than $16.8 million in 2022 for 22 projects in 15 cities. Just over one-half of the program funding is for 18 maintenance projects of existing roadways.
Funding for the various projects ranged from $60,000 to Leawood and $61,000 to Overland Park in improving shared segments of 95th Street from Mission to Wenonga roads to $3,642,000 to Shawnee for phase 2 improvements in the 7100 to 7900 blocks to Monticello Road. Five other projects have funding of more than $1 million, including:
Five CARS projects are in Overland Park, two in Leawood, and one each in Edgerton, Gardner, Lenexa, Merriam, Mission Hills, Olathe, Prairie Village, Roeland Park, Shawnee, Spring Hill and Westwood. Four projects with shared roadways in five cities also were funded. The CARS program was established to construct, maintain and improve local major transportation corridors in partnership with cities. Each year, cities submit a five-year road improvement plan to Johnson County Government. Each city will receive funding for its top-priority qualifying project. Additional projects are funded based on a funding rule and/or scoring system. The Program can fund up to 50 percent of the project’s construction and construction inspection costs. Cities are responsible for ancillary costs such as design, right-of-way and utility relocation.
In 2022, most of the cities’ allocations were reduced to approximately 45% since requests exceeded available funding by slightly more than $1.2 million.
The SMP for next year totals almost $19.9 million. It includes more than $4.8 million for assessment and replacement of stormwater system components (inlets and pipes) involving eight projects with four located in Shawnee and one each in Gardner, Merriam, Prairie Village and Olathe.
Almost $11 million was allocated for a dozen watershed capital improvement projects to reduce flood risks in the cities of Overland Park (six projects), Olathe and Merriam (two projects each), and Merriam and Leawood (one project each).
The plan also provides funding for maintenance of the county’s stream and rain gauge network, maintenance of the countywide flood-warning system, support to the cities for compliance with state/federal water quality regulations, and funding of studies identified by cities and other stormwater activities and projects.
The SMP annually provides funding for stormwater improvements and capital projects in Johnson County in partnership with the cities. The program also cooperates with other cities in the Kansas City region as part of the regional stormwater system.
The SMP is funded by a 1/10-cent sales tax authorized by the Kansas Legislature in 1988 and approved by the Board of County Commissioners for the purpose of funding stormwater projects. Johnson County was the only county to implement the tax. The funds, dedicated to stormwater management, allow the county to create an annual stormwater management plan and provide 75 percent of funding for eligible design and construction projects in the county and cities in Johnson County.
The Board of County Commissioners created the SMP and the Stormwater Management Advisory Council in the early 1990s. The council helps coordinate stormwater efforts and advises the board on stormwater management-related issues.
Details of the 2022 CARS and Stormwater Management Program are accessible online at jocogov.org/dept/public-works/stormwater-management/program-overview and jocogov.org/dept/public-works/cars-program.