Lexington Springimill

A safety study is planned along a section of Lexington-Springmill Road, one of the most heavily traveled roads in Richland County.

MANSFIELD -- A safety study is planned along a section of Lexington-Springmill Road, one of the most heavily traveled roads in Richland County.

County commissioners on Tuesday approved a $47,867 contract with the Columbus engineering firm of EMH&T to do the study, with 90 percent of the funds coming via a grant via from the County Engineers Association of Ohio.

The study will examine Lexington-Springmill Road from the northern edge of the Village of Lexington, north to Marion Avenue Road, according to Richland County Engineer Adam Gove.

The corridor includes intersections with Cockley Road, Hanley Road, Cook Road and Home Road. There are no traffic lights currently at any of those intersections, all of which Gove said have elevated crash rates.

"Not overly high, but elevated," Gove said. "We wanted the safety study to take a look at what is going on there and what we can do to possibly improve the situation.

"We want to see where traffic is being delayed on the side roads. Cook Road, I know, is one where people are sitting there waiting at certain times of the day. When people get tired of waiting, they take chances or go when they shouldn't," Gove said.

If problems are identified, possible solutions include lights, roundabouts and/or turn lanes, the engineer said.

The study is expected to be completed by end the summer in 2021.

"Once we have the results and possible solutions, we would go and shop for more safety grant money to help pay for it," Gove said.

Also on Tuesday, Commissioner Tony Vero said the county had received revenue numbers through the end of October, showing the county is down about 3 percent year-to-date from 2019 in all of its major revenue sources combined.

The reduction is largely based on the COVID-19 pandemic, which reached Ohio in March and led to the state-ordered closures of what Gov. Mike DeWine determined were "non-essential" businesses. Vero said the biggest percentage losses were in the county's share of the state casino tax (50 percent) and interest earnings (18 percent.)

The county is receiving a share of the state's online sales tax this year for the first time, Commissioner Marilyn John said.

The county's share of the sales tax, which accounts for 60 percent of its total revenue, is about 2.95 percent better than 2019, but about 3 percent less than had been budgeted, Vero said.

When factoring in the $7.4 million Richland County received in federal CARES Act funds, Vero said he projects the county will finish the year with revenue greater than expenses of somewhere between $1.5 and $2 million.

One reason is the decision commissioners made earlier to spend about $2.5 million in CARES Act funds on payroll for the Richland County Sheriff's Office and county jail operations.

Commissioners also said Tuesday they would consider a "scaled down" holiday light display in front of the county courthouse. The board had rejected a $20,000 proposal earlier this year, but said they have been asked to consider a project that could cost between $1,500 and $2,000.

Vero said he would check the on actual cost and report back to commissioners. The City of Mansfield will have a significant holiday light display at the municipal building and in Central Park downtown. The county's lights would add to that overall effect, Vero said.

"Obviously, we would have to move quickly," Vero said.

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City editor. 30-year plus journalist. Husband. Father of 3 grown sons and also a proud grandpa. Prior military journalist in U.S. Navy, Ohio Air National Guard. -- Favorite quote: "Where were you when the page was blank?"