Plans for street paving in the city ran into some roadblocks this week, with unexpected costs and the objections of a councilman meaning at least a delay to any work.

During a special meeting, Safety and Service Director Jeremy Greenwood had some bad news. Originally, council had decided to alter the scope of plans from paving numerous streets to instead concentrate on extensively rebuilding Edinburgh Way and Kilsyth Court, both in Ward 3.

Greenwood said $5 million received through the Ohio BUILDS water infrastructure grant program, although a blessing, had thrown a “monkey wrench” into the city’s paving plans. The city is now able to accelerate needed waterline upgrades, but Greenwood said it makes no sense to repave streets only to tear them up afterward for waterline work. These two streets need extensive work that would not be impacted by the waterline project.

However, Greenwood said there had been a misunderstanding. He had believed the cost of $236,000 would have covered both streets, but that already represented an increase over the $200,000 meant to cover work on 13 streets. However, that price was only for Edinburgh; work on Kilsyth would cost an additional $145,000.

“It’s a long street, though. It’s not a short street,” Greenwood said.

Council members were expected to pass legislation authorizing the paving as an emergency measure during the Wednesday meeting, but Councilwomen Linda Jordan and Beth Oprisch were not present, leaving only five council members present. A minimum of five votes are required to suspend the rules that require three public readings of legislation before a vote.

Councilman J.C. Thrash said he could not vote in favor of suspending the rules. He said he felt council was being “rushed” and added that he believed Cast & Baker had been given an “open checkbook” when the city changed the scope of the work.

Greenwood agreed that the cost seemed higher than he expected, but the proposed work was extensive and inflation was driving up costs.

Even if council does agree to the Edinburgh Way and Kilsyth Court project after two more readings, Greenwood said the project would be placed lower in Cast & Baker’s queue because council did not pass the legislation by the June 13 date when work was to begin.

By 4difm

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