WEATHERSFIELD TWP. Officials revise completion date of road safety-upgrade project

A lawsuit has been filed over unusable fire department dispatch phone lines.
MINERAL RIDGE -- A revision of the expected completion date for Phase I of the road safety-upgrade project has been sent to the state.
David Pugh, Weathersfield Township administrator, told trustees earlier this week that plans were for a Nov. 1 completion date for the project, but not all of the final bids are in. The work is to include Niles-Carver paving, berm work and drainage improvements from Ohltown-Girard Road north to Salt Springs Road.
Pugh said that bids still must be sought for the drainage portion of the project. He said engineer Gary Dioro of MS Consultants told him he expects to have these ready either at the end of this week or next week.
The Phase I and Phase II projects to upgrade Niles-Carver Road are being bid together. Phase II will be from Salt Springs Road to the Niles city limits and will include paving, some berm work and some drainage improvements.
Phase I is to be paid for with a $157,000, interest-free, 10-year loan through state Issue 2 funds. Phase II will be paid for with a $180,000 Issue 2 grant, and a local match of $55,000.
Worried about overruns
Trustee John Vogel expressed concern that when all Phase I bids are in there will be cost overruns. He said he sees a $14,500 cost increase to the expected $157,000 for Phase I and $1,300 for Phase II, from bids received so far.
Vogel said the township could be looking at a $30,000 overrun. But Pugh said the township is under budget so far.
Trustee chairman Fred Bobovnyk said $157,000 was the township's target for the cost of the project, adding the township doesn't have to use all of that.
If the cost of drainage pipe comes in too high, the township can cut back on the areas that need pipes, Pugh said. It also can reduce berming.
Bobovnyk said the most important part of the project is paving.
Pugh also noted that a Trumbull County sewer project in McKinley Heights is behind on its engineering, and that could lead to a fine by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. He added the township is waiting for a meeting with the county on this project.
Suing over phone lines
In other business, township solicitor William Roux told trustees a lawsuit has been filed in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court by the township against SBC, Cattron Communications and Staley Communications over an estimated $60,000 paid for phone lines and radios for the fire department that were never able to be used because the phone lines didn't work. Roux said the case is in the preliminary stages of litigation.
Pugh told trustees the township's planned switch to Niles for dispatching police and fire calls will take longer than expected. He said that although township equipment has been moved to the Niles location, the room is not ready yet to be operational. Although a Sept. 19 start-up date was planned, it may take until Oct. 1, he said.
The cost of dispatching will be $65,000 annually. Police Chief Joseph Consiglio said he is awaiting word from Niles on what the new 10-digit numbers will be to contact the Niles dispatching site.

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