MOUNT VERNON — In its legislative session on Monday, council members gave the okay for Safety-service Director Richard Dzik to bid and contract for the 2021 street resurfacing. Based on funding, however, the city can only do one large project or several smaller ones.
Council appropriated $338,859 for resurfacing in 2021; the “needs” list comes to over $1 million. The entire list totals nearly $8 million.
City Engineer Brian Ball said the top three projects, in no particular order, are all of Eastern Star Road, including significant base repair ($205,978), East High Street from George Street to Ringwalt Blvd. ($186,695), and East Pleasant Street from Gay Street to Center Run Creek ($266,147). The other streets making the top eight are:
- Calhoun Street: Sandusky Street to Mansfield Avenue, $61,973
- McKinley Street: East Pleasant Street to Harcourt Street, $57,847
- Trail at Ariel-Foundation Park: $104,535 through Nature Works Grant
- Sharp Road: cost share for portions inside city corporation limit, $15,000
- Mobilization: all streets, $20,000
East High Street and Eastern Star Road received emergency repairs in 2020, but Ball noted the repairs on Eastern Star Road are not permanent.
Ball, along with Mayor Matt Starr, Safety-service Director Richard Dzik, and Public Works Director Tom Hinkle will make the call as to which project(s) gets done, but it won't be until spring.
“We don't know what damage may have been sustained through the winter,” said Dzik of the timing of the decision.
The city typically would not begin its resurfacing until fall. Ball said the projects are ready to go now because the engineering department completed design work last year, but the city canceled the projects due to the COVID-related revenue shortfall.
“How long are we going to kick this can down the road?” asked Council President Bruce Hawkins. “If we need $8 million, will it get like storm water where we're so far behind we can't catch up?”
Starr said that he and Ball are working with state representatives to try and get unrestricted funding to help with infrastructure projects. The goal is to create a list of shovel-ready projects showing the justification for and the cost of various projects.
Auditor Terry Scott pointed out that in addition to the $338,859 for resurfacing, the city is putting $416,000 into the Sandusky Street improvement project and $325,000 into a brick street project this year. That totals $1,080,000 available for 2022 resurfacing if council chooses to do so.
Ball also noted that the Ohio Department of Transportation will pave State Route 3 from Public Square to the county line this year. The city has already paid ODOT for its share of the paving cost.