ASHTABULA — City Council's public works committee received an update Friday morning related to a street-paving levy that will go before voters Nov. 5.
By a 6-0 vote last March, council members voted to place a 4-mill, five-year levy on the ballot that would be exclusively for street paving.
The levy will generate about $750,000 annually and cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $140 per year.
"The paving levy's $750,000 a year is a game changer," City Manager Jim Timonere said. "[Due to a tight budget] we put no paving program together this year."
Public Works Committee Chairperson August Pugliese, who represents Ward 2, said the levy is the answer.
"A lot of streets need paving and it's impossible to patch every single hole," he said. "But now it's up to the voters, hopefully the people will realize we need it."
Timonere said the city spent all summer making street repairs, patching and fixing cuts and collapses.
"The spring rain really exposed a lot of issues," he said. "We are going to start crack sealing next week."
Ward 3 Councilman Richard Quaranta said the levy costs the average homeowner about $140 a year, but a new tire — damaged by rough roads — cost about the same.
"The cost of one tire can pay into this levy," he said. "The tax is a protection and investment on our vehicles."
Pugliese said the levy is not something council is forcing on residents, "we’re letting them make the decision.” He realizes "nobody wants to pay more" but the answer to a passel of potholes is a levy.
Timonere said typically the city spends between $350,000 and $400,000 annually on street paving. But the money doesn’t stretch far, typically covering only eight to 10 streets per year. and that doesn't count big stretches of major thoroughfares.
To promote the levy, Pugliese asked committee members and residents to write letters to the editor at The Star Beacon.
In other business, the committee motioned to bring changes to codified ordinance 951 out of committee and present before council. The proposed changes add recycling to the ordinance, which deals with solid waste.