Mount Sterling: Filling potholes and hiring new administrator

(Posted July 10, 2019)

By Andrew Garrett, Staff Writer

Mount Sterling residents can finally look forward to much needed street repairs.

On July 9, village council passed two pieces of legislation on emergency that allow for the village to appropriate funds, accept bids, and enter into contract with AJ Asphalt of Columbus to patch or fill the many potholes blighting the roadways.

The project will involve repairs to more than 20 areas, including sections of U.S. Route 62 and State Route 56. The price tag for the combined projects totals $49,328.

Work should start within the week, Mayor Billy Martin said.

The resolution allowing for the agreement between the village and AJ Asphalt received a single dissenting vote from council member Lowell Anderson. Anderson said Environmental Engineering, the firm the village uses for engineering services, should have been involved in evaluating the needed work and estimating costs.

Anderson also said he overheard a representative from Environmental Engineering tell the mayor in a conversation earlier in the day that the firm was not interested in being involved in so small a project. Anderson also complained that the documents describing AJ Asphalt’s proposals were “vague.”

Martin said he did not recall such a comment being made by Environmental Engineering and that sufficient research had been done for the bids. He said there was nothing vague about the documents. He said AJ Asphalt would do the job as contracted.

“They won’t leave until every pothole is filled,” Martin said.

Anderson conceded that AJ Asphalt was the best company for the job, given the bids.

The streets aren’t the only things with holes that need to be filled. The village administrator position is once again vacant.

Brandon Fetzer, who started the job on April 23, tendered his resignation. According to Courtney Bricker, fiscal officer, Fetzer is taking a job closer to home.

Fetzer was hired to manage the village and oversee the village water and sewage plants. He had been notably absent from community activities, such as the recent Summer Jam.

Council was mostly tight-lipped about Fetzer’s resignation. Council member Becky Martin was the only person who spoke openly on the matter.

“Really, it just wasn’t a good fit,” she said.

Council went into executive session to discuss the vacancy. They scheduled a special meeting for 3:30 p.m. July 12 to hire a new village administrator.

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