Hundreds of residents have petitioned against Phase I, which will use a loan.
By MARY SMITH
MINERAL RIDGE -- Weathersfield Township has advertised for bids for both Phase I and Phase II of two separate safety upgrade projects for two portions of Niles-Carver Road.
The paving portion of the two projects was put out for bid Monday, said David Pugh, township administrator. The drainage bidding for both phases will go out separately for advertisement at the start of next week, he added.
Pugh explained the township decided some time ago to bid both the projects at the same time. Phase I, which was approved for an interest-free, state Issue 2 loan, is expected to cost $157,000.
The loan is to be repaid in 10 years, but Pugh said it is unlikely the township will take that long to pay it off.
Phase I became controversial after 547 residents signed a petition against the township borrowing the money.
The interest-free loan includes money for paving, berm work and drainage improvements on the section of Niles-Carver from Ohltown-Girard Road north to the Salt Springs Road portion of the project.
Phase II is to be a state Issue 2 grant approved in 2004 of $180,000. The local share will be $55,000. Pugh said when the township agreed to take the loan for Phase I, that helped get Phase II funded.
Phase II will be from Salt Springs Road to the Niles city limits and will include paving, some berm work and some drainage improvements.
Pugh noted the Trumbull County engineer's office also is planning to make a safety upgrade at the intersection of Niles-Carver and Salt Springs roads to include installation of a traffic light on Salt Springs.
The county also plans to cut away some of the hill on Niles-Carver at Salt Springs and will repave part of the road.
The county project is projected to cost $545,000 and is expected to be done in 2006. It will be funded through the county and Eastgate Regional Council of Governments.
Pugh said the township originally had targeted this spring to take bids on the project and begin the work, but engineers were delayed in getting all the elevations recorded in time.
He said trustees approved seeking bids for the projects in June, so the township is about two months late letting the bids.
He noted that when a project through state issue 2 is approved -- Phase I was approved in 2003 and Phase II in 2004 -- funding does not become available until the following July. This means the township had no money for engineering or other work on Phase II until July 2004, Pugh explained.
"Ninety percent of projects get pushed into the next year," he added.
He said while he has heard some reports that the township is 18 months late on starting the project, he said it is late on the project by just a few months.