ELYRIA — It’s time to pick paving projects.
Today’s Utilities, Safety and Environment meeting is a long time coming for a lot of people.
At the 6 p.m. meeting, Council members will vote on road improvement projects the city will fund with Issue 6 revenue.
This year, city Engineer Tim Ujvari is proposing eight projects with the funds. They include Miami Avenue, Park Place, Morgan Avenue, Prospect Street, Antioch Drive, Middle Avenue, Penfield Avenue and Georgetown Avenue.
The work does not include other planned projects the city will fund through federal dollars, the Ohio Public Works Commission and other revenue sources likes parts of East Bridge Street, Chestnut Ridge Road, West Avenue, Lake Avenue, West River Road, Gulf Road and Freedom Court.
Safety Service Director Mary Siwierka said each road is selected after careful consideration of infrastructure needs like new water and sewer lines. Council members also make suggestions based on the needs of their respective wards.
Ujvari will present his recommendations to Council in its chambers in City Hall, 131 Court St.
When voters passed Issue 6 in 2016, the main selling point in approving the 0.5 percent income tax increase was to use at least $1 million each year to pay for residential road resurfacing projects. Last year, the work included Garford Avenue, Prospect Street, Ford Road, Lowell Street, Creekfield Court, Hawthorne Street and Yorkshire Court.
However, a harsh winter this year resulted in many pothole-pocked roads, which has frustrated drivers who want to see more projects.
During Monday’s Council meeting, Oakwood Drive resident Larry Klipstein suggested Council double its efforts to pave roads instead of pushing efforts to expand the economic development department and other projects.
“We need economic development in the city, but first we need to develop the city,” he said. “(People) don’t want to move to the city where their kids have nothing to do, and they have to dodge potholes everywhere they go.”
According to numbers provided by city Finance Director Ted Pileski, Issue 6 money is going out as quickly as it comes in for street repairs. By December, the city will have spent $3 million toward roads if the budget numbers hold.