By Michael Fitzpatrick
City Council approved legislation at its Oct. 5 meeting that will fund a $1.265 million water line replacement project.
The money will replace existing 6- and 8-inch water lines with new 8-inch water lines in the areas of Olive Avenue, Lewis Street, Branch Street and Cross Street, according to the legislation.
According to city engineer Scott Wangler, when completed the project should prevent interruption of service in the area due to broken water lines, a problem which has plagued the city in a variety of locations as a result of its aging infrastructure. He did not say that replacing the line would improve water pressure in the area.
“They’ll notice less interruption of service,” Wangler said of what benefits the project will provide for residents in the streets that will be affected.
The city has been replacing water lines in recent years and it’s been improving service, apparently.
“We’ve been pretty aggressive in doing waterline replacement over the past few years,” Wangler said. “Back in 2011 we had 41 water line breaks; In 2012 we has 37; in 2013 we had 21 and in 2014 we had 15,” Wangler said.
The water line replacement project was approved during appropriations in February, but the city held off on starting the project until Bond Anticipation Notes were sold to finance it, Wangler said.
Wangler said he did not know when the project would break ground, but said it would start in 2015, and the contractor on the project will likely be picked on Oct. 20, when the bid opening is scheduled.
“Waterline work is something you can do during the offseason (winter),” Wangler said.
A similar waterline replacement project was completed on Denise Drive in the winter of 2014-2015.
Council approves ordinance for Lear Nagle widening
The city will pay a small percentage of the interest on a loan that the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency will have to take out to pay for the project that will widen Lear Nagle Road from two to three lanes.
NOACA, as it’s known, will have to borrow $5.8 million — its share of the cost of the project — from the state, Gillock told city council during its Oct. 5 meeting.
As a result, the city will end up paying $176,678 in interest over 10 years, Mayor Dave Gillock said. City Council approved an ordinance at its Oct. 5 meeting agreeing to enter into the loan agreement with NOACA and the Ohio Department of Transportation.
The project calls for Lear Nagle to be widened from two to three lanes from Center Ridge Road to Lorain Road. In addition to the widening, the project calls for construction of a concrete street, installation of sidewalks and curbs new waterlines, new sewers and major intersection improvements.
In total the project will cost $12.75 million, with the city’s share coming in at $2.7 million, Gillock said. Gillock said the city has already contributed $1 million of its share for the project in land acquisition and engineering costs.
The actual construction cost of the project is an estimated $10.6 million, which includes $850,000 for new water lines, Gillock said.
Clean up those leaves
Wangler noted that with the calendar changing to October the leaves are beginning to fall from trees and its important residents dispose of those leaves properly so as to help prevent flooding in the city. Fallen leaves can collect around sewer grates and block rain water from draining into the city’s sewers, which can then cause flooding.
“Round them up in a responsible manner and don’t be tempted to brush them into our ditches and drainage infrastructure,” Wangler said at the Oct. 5 council meeting during his report to council.
Council member Dennis Boose piggybacked on Wangler’s comments by urging residents who may have sewer grates in front of their homes to make sure those grates remain clear of debris.
“All I would ask residents is if you have a grate in front of your house go out and take a look at it. Rake it up (if it’s covered with leaves). You can save someone from having serious flooding damage,” Boose said. Boose said he drives the streets in his neighborhood and often stops to clear clogged grates.