The city of New Franklin is exploring what the best path forward is when it comes to resurfacing roads in the city.
During the March 6 council meeting, City Council continued to discuss if the city should move away from chip and seal for the roads and get back into paving. Council took time on legislation moving forward with providing the Summit County Engineer’s the list of roads to be included in the county’s 422 paving chip and seal program.
Mayor Paul Adamson said there has been plenty of discussion on this subject as several members of City Council have raised concerns about the quality of the chip and seal program from the county the past few years.
Adamson said he would like to see the city eventually get back to paving because he believes asphalt is better than chip and seal, but it is much more costly.
The city is planning to engage an expert to assess all the roads and make suggestions on what it should do moving forward.
“Can we pave, what it is going to cost?” Adamson asked.
He said the city cannot afford to get into paving this year and would like to see the city move forward with the chip and seal program for this year.
Councilman Andrew Fetterman raised concerns about the quality of the chip and seal.
Adamson said the chip and seal bid can also include a sealant at an added cost, which the city has not used in past year. He said this is something the city could explore adding to this year’s chip and seal program.
Fetterman said his road was done with chip and seal last year, adding the the asphalt is almost visible again.
Councilman Jim Cotts suggested scaling back the list of roads for this year or not doing any roads at all. He said he would like to see a consultant hired as soon as possible to see what absolutely needs to be done.
Adamson said by doing nothing, it will put the city even further behind and the roads will degrade more. He said the city could possibly obtain some extra funding if the proposed state gas tax is approved.
Council is expected to discuss the matter more at their next meeting and have Service Director Bryan Kepler present.
In other business March 6, council:
– Approved to accept the NEXUS Gas Transmission Community Grant for $10,000.
– Approved to accept an Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation Firefighters Grant and then and now purchase orders for the Turn-Out Gear Washer from Advantage Equipment and fire gloves and hoods from Fire Safety Services. The grant is for $15,000 and the city will cover the remaining $2,550 of the cost.
– Held a public hearing for eight renewal applications for agricultural district properties.
– Heard from Adamson about if anyone has damage to their property they should contact the Summit County Fiscal Office about filling out a valuation deduction. He also announced there will be free help for those behind on their property taxes so they can develop a payment plan from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. March 21 at the Ohio Means Jobs Center, 1040 E Tallmadge Ave.
– Heard from Adamson also about the city’s continued efforts to explore solar energy to power the city buildings. They have been working with Bluestem Energy Solutions and explored the option of putting some solar panels in the field near the city building. The panels would be able to provide about 50 percent of the load. He said the city is exploring to see if any other businesses in the area would be interested in having solar energy connected, which could bring the cost of the project down
The next New Franklin Council meeting is set to begin immediately following the committee meetings, which are scheduled for 6 p.m. March. 20 at New Franklin City Hall.
This story was also published in The Suburbanite. www.thesuburbanite.com