Street upgrades planned in Reynoldsburg

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By Dustin Ensinger
Staff Writer

The city of Reynoldsburg plans to spend less than $1 million on its street repaving program in 2015.

The plan – which includes about nine street repaving projects, the paving of a parking lot in the Old Reynoldsburg business district and the replacement of the brick crosswalks on Main Street with asphalt – will cost $900,000 to $960,000, according to Service Director Nathan Burd.

“We just don’t have the money to address all the different streets we would like to work on each year,” Burd said.

Due to its lack of revenue, officials say the city’s infrastructure is beginning to crumble. A study by an engineering firm found the city needs to spend at least $2.2 million annually to keep up with road maintenance.

Burd said the city will try to cluster its repaving program in problematic areas each year. The program this year will include Tomahawk Trail, Wigwam Way, Trailblazer Lane and Pathfinder Drive.

“We think it’s a good program with the resources we have,” he said.

The city also plans to replace the brick crosswalks on Main Street with asphalt. City officials say they frequently get complaints about the crosswalks, which are difficult to maintain.

“I get more complaints about that than I do anything, really,” Councilman Mel Clemens said.

That portion of the project will cost about $418,000, Burd said last year.

The city purchased the property in Old Reynoldsburg last year with plans to pave the area to provide more parking for businesses in the area.

The cost is estimated to be no more than $80,000, according to Burd.

Councilman Scott Barrett suggested the city should look into assessing nearby businesses for a portion of the cost.

“It seems that the parking lot becomes more of a development issue to me,” Barrett said.
Burd said he would look into the matter.

The city finance committee approved a measure to hire engineering firm EMH&T to provide engineering and bidding services on the project.

The measure is expected to be passed under emergency order so the city can begin the bidding process as soon because other municipalities will be bidding out contracts for road projects as well.

“The sooner we get in, the better in terms of competition,” said Burd.

Street sweeper purchase

Burd addressed the necessity of purchasing a street sweeper for about $280,000 after a resident complained about the proposed expenditure at the Feb. 9 council meeting.

“We think this is needed and we’ve structured this purchase in a way that makes sense,” Burd said.

He said the money will not come from the general fund, but three accounts in which spending is highly restricted: the storm water fund, the street fund and the state highway fund.

“There are only certain things we can do with these dollars,” he said.

The city has been without its own street sweeper for more than a year after the machine the city used for 17 years broke down for good in October 2013. Most cities, Burd said, replace street sweepers every five to seven years.

Burd said it was inefficient to pay an outside entity for the work.

The finance committee unanimously approved sending the measure to council for consideration.

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