City considers spending nearly $1 million on road repairs in 2024

(Posted Feb. 27, 2024)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

The city of London is looking at spending nearly $1 million on street repairs this year. Legislation to set aside the funds was introduced at city council’s Feb. 15 meeting.

Part of the funding would come from a grant reimbursement. In 2022, the Ohio Department of Development awarded the city a $461,000 grant to tear down the former school and gymnasium that once stood at 60 S. Walnut St. The demolition took place last year. The city covered the costs up front. The state is scheduled to reimburse the city for those costs this year.

The legislation also calls for the city to move $500,000 from its general fund to the capital improvements fund for the street work, bringing the total for the year to $961,000.

Bill Long, head of the street department, recommended the expenditures. The city hasn’t done major city-wide road repairs since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Pre-COVID, we were doing $300,000 to $500,000 or more in street repairs every year,” said Mayor Patrick Closser, adding that those expenditures were put on pause during the pandemic. “Now, we’re bouncing back and getting back into it. There are things that need to be done.”

City officials plan to compile and prioritize a list of street projects to be done.

“Then, we will just work down the list and get as many done as we can with the allotted money,” Closser said.

The proposal will be up for a second reading at council’s March 7 meeting.

Other city government news
Council member Rich Hays said city leaders have had initial talks about redrawing ward boundaries for the city.

“As the city grows, some of the wards are getting excessively big. So, we may have to do something with that pretty soon,” he said.

Hays also said legislation likely will be introduced at council’s March 7 meeting to update the city’s building and zoning permit fees to align more closely with fees of other nearby municipalities.

Closser announced the city’s revamped website and new smart phone app both went live on Feb. 8. The website address is www.londonohio.gov. The smart phone app can be found by searching for “City of London Ohio” in the app store.

“It’s just another tool to keep citizens informed with info at their fingertips,” Closser said about the app.

Council member Michael Norman sponsored legislation that would authorize the mayor or safety-service director to apply for various grants throughout the 2024 calendar year, instead of waiting for council approval for each individual grant application, as is done now.

This would allow city administration to move quickly on opportunities with tight deadlines. It would still be up to council members to give the go-ahead to accept any grants that come through. The measure passed on first reading and will be up for a second reading at council’s March 7 meeting.

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