ELYRIA — City Council’s Utilities, Safety and Environment voted Wednesday to recommend approving 19 street paving projects to be designed and sent out to bid this spring.
When the final estimated cost of the work was tallied, ward representatives on City Council had disbursed all but 52 cents of the $1.36 million budget for proposed paving projects this summer. The money came from Issue 6 funds approved by voters in March 2016.
Paring down the list of streets ranked 1 and 2 on a scale of 5 — with 1 being “poor” and 5 being “good” — from the 2019 street ranking list kept by his office, City Engineer John Schneider made a second list of all streets ranked “1” and presented it along with an estimated cost for each project.
To fix every street ranked “1” on Schneider’s list would cost the city $4.7 million. Therefore, only about one-fourth of all the recommended projects could be funded with the Issue 6 money available.
Council members said they wanted to spread out the work as much as possible throughout the city, while still representing the needs of the constituents in their wards.
“When you look at how much it costs to do an entire road, $1.3 million is not a lot,” said 6th Ward Councilwoman Donna Mitchell, who chairs the Utilities, Safety and Environment Committee. “We’ve got to be fair, and the most important thing we do is what we do for our residents.”
Recommended for paving in Councilman Larry Tanner’s ward are East River Street from East Bridge Street to Clark Street, Park Avenue from Cornell Avenue to Stanford Avenue and Prospect Street from Stanford Avenue to Baldwin Avenue.
The estimated cost, based on a formula provided by Schneider, is nearly $260,894.
Proposed projects in Councilwoman Brenda Davis’ ward are Morgan Avenue from Adams Street to Lorain Boulevard and Belmont Avenue from Furnace Street west to the cul-de-sac.
The Morgan Avenue project is estimated to cost more than $138,445, while the Belmont Avenue project is estimated at $40,146, for a total of $178,591. An alternate project to be considered, if funds are left over, is Walnut Street from Adams Street to Lorain Boulevard, while Davis said High Street, also from Adams Street to Lorain Boulevard, needed work as well.
Elyria City Council's Utilities, Safety and Environment Committee on Wednesday sent 19 paving projects totaling approximately $1,360,000 to City Council for consideration. Included on the list was University Avenue, shown here between Prospect and Dartmouth Circle in the 3rd Ward.
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Councilman Mark Jessie said “many, many people” in his ward approached him about problems with Dartmouth Circle, and asked the committee to place it on the list at an estimated cost of $43,712. Also on the proposed list being sent to the whole of City Council are University Avenue from Prospect Street to Dartmouth Circle, at a cost of $80,028, and a portion of the 400 block of Songbird Street, which if it could be completed by city Street Department crews instead of a contractor could halve the cost of paving to about $37,000, Schneider said.
Jessie asked that the eastern end of Carol Lane be considered as an alternate in the event of leftover funds.
Elyria City Council's Utilities, Safety and Environment Committee on Wednesday sent 19 paving projects totaling approximately $1,360,000 to City Council for consideration. Included on the list was Columbus Street between Gulf and Glenwood in the 4th Ward.
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In the 4th Ward, Councilman Phil Tollett said his biggest concern is Columbus Street from Gulf Road west to Glenwood Street, with that project costing an estimated $115,305. Lucille Drive also rated a “1” on the city engineer’s scale.
Tollett said his understanding is that the exposed brick on Columbus Street, dating to the 1800s, made the street “unplowable” in winter snow. Though it didn’t make the list, Tollett said Overbrook Road also concerns him, with a water problem “constantly eroding” the street surface.
Four smaller projects — Fifth Street from Middle Avenue to East Avenue, Eighth Street from Middle Avenue to East Avenue, 13th Street from Middle Avenue to West Avenue, and Gates Avenue — were sent up the ladder in Councilman Marcus Madison’s ward.
Gates Avenue resident Janet Diewald, the only member of the public to attend Wednesday’s meeting, was elated and thanked City Council members for proposing her street be repaved.
“I’ve been begging the last three or four years” for Gates Avenue to be done, she said.
Elyria City Council's Utilities, Safety and Environment Committee on Wednesday sent 19 paving projects totaling approximately $1,360,000 to City Council for consideration. Included on the list was West 19th Street, from Douglas Avenue to West River Road South in the 6th Ward.
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Oak Street from Oakwood Drive to Penfield Avenue, $48,024, “is really bad,” Mitchell said, and made her list of two requests, while West 19th Street from Douglas Avenue to West River Road South, $48,440, also is a request sent to Council.
Irondale Street was listed as a possible alternate in the event of leftover funds.
Elyria City Council's Utilities, Safety and Environment Committee on Wednesday sent 19 paving projects totaling approximately $1,360,000 to City Council for consideration. Included on the list was Georgetown Street in the 7th Ward.
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Calling them “heavily traveled roads,” Councilman Jack Cerra focused his requests on Georgetown Avenue from Livermore Lane to Rosewood Avenue, with an estimated cost $175,975; Fairwood Boulevard from Jamestown Avenue to Georgetown Avenue ($66,847) and Fairwood from Georgetown to 952 Fairwood Ave. ($52,918).
Georgetown Avenue and Fairwood Avenue are “two that I would recommend” as well, Schneider told Cerra.
Schneider said it would take about a month to draw up bid specifications and another several weeks to get the projects out to contractors, many of whom he said use city paving projects as “fill-in work” between larger projects. Most of the proposed work should be started in three to four months, he said.
Additional roadwork that meets eligibility requirements will be done this summer with funds provided by the Ohio Public Works Commission and the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency, or NOACA, Schneider said. Money from those agencies was not included in Wednesday’s budget.
Davis said she was both grateful the city had $1.3 million to spend fixing its streets as well as “for what the residents voted for” when they passed Issue 6. Mitchell said Wednesday she remembers years when the city had “barely anything” budgeted for paving and “couldn’t fix any streets.”
“We’re trying as hard as we can,” Davis said. “I wish we could just go and borrow the money. At least we try to put a dent in” the list.
“It’s great to see that we’re going to see so many” streets paved this year, Madison said.
In other matters, the committee recommended City Council approve the purchase of up to 9,000 tons of road salt this year from an Ohio Department of Transportation purchasing program. The city has 7,000 tons on hand, Assistant Street Department Manager Preston Curtiss told the committee.
“We’re in Northeast Ohio, so we definitely need the salt,” he said.