(1) There is created within the Department of Transportation a County Incentive Grant Program for the purpose of providing grants to counties, to improve a transportation facility which is located on the State Highway System or which relieves traffic congestion on the State Highway System.
(2) To be eligible for consideration, projects must be consistent, to the maximum extent feasible, with local metropolitan planning organization plans and local government comprehensive plans.
(3) The department must consider, but is not limited to, the following criteria for evaluation of projects for County Incentive Grant Program assistance:
(a) The extent to which the project will encourage, enhance, or create economic benefits;
(b) The likelihood that assistance would enable the project to proceed at an earlier date than the project could otherwise proceed;
(c) The extent to which assistance would foster innovative public-private partnerships and attract private debt or equity investment;
(d) The extent to which the project uses new technologies, including intelligent transportation systems, which enhance the efficiency of the project;
(e) The extent to which the project helps to maintain or protect the environment; and
(f) The extent to which the project includes transportation benefits for improving intermodalism and safety.
(4) The department shall provide 50 percent of project costs for eligible projects.
(5) The department is authorized to adopt rules to administer the County Incentive Grant Program.
(6) A municipality may apply to the county in which the municipality is located for consideration by the county for funding under this section of any project or project phase of a transportation facility which is located on the State Highway System or which is demonstrated to relieve congestion on the State Highway System. The county must evaluate all municipal applications as provided in subsection (3). If a municipality’s proposed project is rejected by the county for funding under this section, or if the county’s proposed project adversely affects a municipality within the county, the municipality may request mediation to resolve any concerns of the municipality and the county.