With the proposed countywide transportation tax failing to be pushed to the November ballot recently, the Stanislaus Council of Governments has begun looking to other funding options to begin developing the South County Corridor, connecting the cities of Turlock and Patterson.
If the countywide transportation tax initiative had moved forward and been approved by County voters, the project would have been designated nearly $116 million from the sales tax increase. With uncertainty now surrounding funding options for the project, StanCOG members voted unanimously to apply for a state Transportation Planning Grant which would help fund a feasibility study for the proposed corridor.
In November, the StanCOG Policy Board appropriated $200,000 to cover the total cost the South County Corridor Feasibility Study, which was planned to be fully funded by their Planning Programming and Monitoring Funds. However, after working with County officials and representatives from the cities of Turlock, Newman and Patterson to develop a scope of work for the study, staff members determined that an additional $150,000 would be needed to prepare an adequate feasibility study, bringing the total of needed monies to $350,000.
While StanCOG will still appropriate the approved $200,000 towards the study, the additional $150,000 was agreed to be funded by each of the other four agencies.
The cooperative funding agreement between the four agencies was approved by the StanCOG policy board in March, in addition to negotiating a contract for the SCC Feasibility Study for an amount that is not to exceed $350,000.
According to StanCOG, should the actual contract amount be less than $350,000, the member agency’s contributions will be the final amount minus the $200,000 provided by StanCOG. Once the contract has been executed, StanCOG staff will administer the contract, provide oversight of the consultant, and remain in close coordination with the four member agencies throughout the process.
As per the member agency contract, Stanislaus County will be allocating $100,000 towards the Feasibility Study, while the cities of Turlock and Patterson each contribute $22,000 in addition to $6,000 from the City of Newman.
While representatives from the cities of Turlock, Patterson and Newman all supported providing the additional funding, the contributions from each city are contingent upon the approval from their respective City Councils.
Although the contract helps provide funding for the feasibility study of the South County Corridor — which will run between Interstate 5 and Highway 99 — StanCOG is still working to find adequate funding to cover the cost of constructing the route.