The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

March 16, 2013

Stone will be applied to assist Conneaut’s rutted roads

Star Beacon

CONNEAUT — Money may be spent after all to help strengthen unpaved Conneaut roads that have turned into mud and muck by a recent thaw, according to City Manager Tim Eggleston.

The sum isn’t overly large, not much more than $10,000, but it’s enough to buy stone to shore up sections of secondary roads until dry weather arrives and the roads firm up, he said.

While the final decision rests with City Council, money for the stone could come from what’s left of revenue generated from a street improvement levy that expired at the end of 2012, said Finance Director John Williams. Some $127,000 remains in the account, Williams said. Another $20,000 or $30,000 could be added to the account by the time figures are finalized, he said.

While there is money available, the city can’t simply raid the account because the fund will be tapped to make improvements to a section of West Jackson Street ripped up by contractors last year and to patch up Harbor Street after upcoming utility improvements, Eggleston said.

City Hall has been peppered with calls about the condition of the city’s secondary roads, nearly all located south of Interstate 90. Last week, City Council joined the chorus of complainers, urging some sort of action.

Eggleston has said repairs must wait until winter’s freeze-thaw cycle that caused the damage eases up and roads start to dry out. The narrow defeat of a street/road levy in November also hurt the city’s ability to maintain its many miles of dirt roads, officials have said

Council members could approve the stone purchase at their next regular meeting if a special session isn’t convened before then. Stone could be spread when weather allows and Bob Mannion, Public Works Department director, deems it appropriate, Eggleston said.