The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

April 9, 2013

Conneaut councilman apologizes for poor roads

(Continued)

CONNEAUT —

Joe Polchosky said the quality of work on the roads doesn't merit support of a road levy. Eggleston has said the narrow defeat of a 10-year street/road levy in November has hurt the city's ability to make repairs.

Spring comes every year and yet the Public Works Department was not ready to respond, Polchosky said. “It's not right not to be ready for this,” he said.

Council also expressed its unhappiness regarding road conditions. Ward 2 Councilman Phil Garcia asked if the city has a plan it follows for road repair and wants weekly updates. He also urged the city to confer with other agencies on road maintenance ideas.

Ward 1 Councilman Doug Hedrick said the roads as they exist now are “unacceptable.” Councilman-at-large Neil LaRusch took it a step further, apologizing to the crowd.

“The roads out there are an embarrassment,” he said. “There are citizens who are grading roads themselves.”

LaRusch said he believes technique, not funding, may be the problem. “It's obviously not about money but procedure,” he said.

There was one bit of good news for some of the affected residents. LaRusch has apparently shelved for now his effort to eliminate a popular exemption to the city's $2 monthly street lighting. Landowners whose property is 500 feet or more from a street light, and more than 150 landowners sought out and received the exemption.

Last week LaRusch said he would make a motion doing away with the exemption at Monday's meeting. Asked after the meeting why he didn't make the motion, LaRusch said, “Let's talk about fixing our roads first.”

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