Road project ahead of schedule

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Prairie Township residents who find themselves seeing orange over local construction projects will soon find some relief, but not for long.

The Inah Avenue project will finish ahead of schedule and before school starts, according to township Administrator Tracy Hatmaker.

The township authorized its third payment for the project, which totaled $467,000, at their July 30 meeting. The fourth and final payment request is expected soon, said Township Administrator Tracy Hatmaker, and the project should be complete by mid-August, rather than the expected date set for September.

The final stages involve surface and asphalt finishing, now that re-grading and re-surfacing are complete. The road also met improvements to its curbs, gutters and storm sewers. New sidewalks were also a part of the project.

The project, paid for by a grant and a zero interest loan from the Ohio Public Works Commission, will cost an estimated $1.2 million in all.

At the same time the Inah Avenue project is wrapping up, trustees are starting discussion on two possible future projects.

Township trustees are encouraging public comment and questions at an open house meeting regarding two requests to fund infrastructure improvements.

The Ohio Public Works Commission asked the township to consider funding Phase II of street and other improvements on South Grener Avenue, including south of the pedestrian bridge to West Broad Street. The same request was made for a length of Gladys Road, according to a press release from the township.

The open house meeting will host several stations to discuss aspects of the projects, and those in attendance can ask questions of the consultants from Stantec Consulting Services, Inc. and other local officials.

The meeting will be held Aug. 13 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Prairie Township Hall, 23 Maple Dr.

A little extra coverage

Less than $1,000 extra in insurance costs means the difference between preventing fires and putting them out for Prairie Township residents.

Township trustees, heeding a lesson learned not so long ago, chose to contract with the Ohio Township Association Risk Management Authority for township liability insurance despite an added $835 in yearly premium costs over its competing bidder, The Ohio Plan.

The total cost of the OTARMA plan amounts to $29,560, a sum well worth the adage, says Trustee Chair Nicole Schlosser.

“An $835 expenditure is worth the extra cost because the plan covers more,” said Schlosser at the July 30 trustee meeting.

Though The Ohio Plan flashes a lower premium payment per year, it covers only 150 percent of the stated value of township property, whereas OTARMA absorbs all costs of replacement.

The township felt the burn of making up the extra cost involved in an insurance claim under The Ohio Plan almost two years ago.

According to Trustee Douglass Stormont, criminals parked a stolen truck in the salt shed on Alkire Road and set it on fire. When the township rebuilt the salt shed, it received a mere $85,000 of the estimated $105,000 total.

“We thought we were covered,” said Stormont, “but actually, we were underinsured.”

OTARMA insures nearly 1,000 townships, more than any other program in the state, 99 percent of which renew their membership yearly, according to the group’s proposal provided to the township.

The contract lasts begins in August 2008 and runs through August 2009.

 

 

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