Contract awarded to repave 7 miles of Mahoning Avenue

Published: Fri, September 16, 2011 @ 12:05 a.m.

By Peter H. Milliken


Mahoning County commissioners awarded a $1.3 million contract for the repaving of a 7-mile, two-lane section of Mahoning Avenue from Rosemont Road in North Jackson to the Portage County line. On Thursday, the commissioners awarded the pact to the Shelly Co. of Thornville, Ohio.

Federal highway funds will pay 80 percent of the cost, and an Ohio Public Works Commission loan will pay the remaining 20 percent.

The work largely will be performed this fall, but, because of required minimum-air temperatures for applying asphalt, it likely will need to be completed next spring, said Marilyn Kenner, chief deputy county engineer.

In recent years, Mahoning Avenue has been repaved from Glenwood Avenue in Youngstown to state Route 45 in North Jackson.

Storm-sewer installation is under way between Route 45 and Rosemont Road, and, once that is completed, that section, too, will be repaved, Kenner said.

When all the work is done on the sections of Mahoning Avenue in western Mahoning County, the only remaining section to be repaved will be between the Fallen Firefighters Memorial Bridge (the former Spring Common bridge) in downtown Youngstown, where Mahoning Avenue originates, and Glenwood Avenue.

The city has applied through the Eastgate Regional Council of Governments for Ohio Public Works Commission funding to repave that 1-mile section leading into the city’s downtown, said Charles Shasho, the city’s deputy director of public works.

If funding is approved, that section could be repaved in fall 2012 or, more likely, in spring 2013, Shasho said.

After their regular meeting, the commissioners discussed the county’s borrowing needs with their bond counsel, Atty. Pamela Hanover, of Squire, Saunders and Dempsey of Cleveland for about 90 minutes, but John A. McNally IV, chairman of the county commissioners, said they reached no consensus or decisions concerning the amount of new borrowing required.

McNally estimated about $3.5 million in new borrowing might be needed for re-roofing, improved morgue ventilation, renovations to accommodate the auto-title office and a supplement to a federal stimulus grant for a new heating system at Oakhill Renaissance Place.

“For me, the major issue is getting these infrastructure issues at Oakhill under control,” he said, adding that the commissioners are exploring ways to reduce the $3.5 million figure for Oakhill.

“We have to really prioritize what we need to borrow for,” said county Auditor Michael V. Sciortino.

The county must make $10.7 million in payments on current debt Dec. 1 and will refinance $6.5 million of that, according to Carol McFall, chief deputy county auditor. That debt includes borrowing for renovations at Oakhill and the county courthouse, she said.

McNally said he is concerned about the infringement of the county’s debt on the operational funding needs of county departments.

“We have to be mindful of how much money we’re going to borrow and how much money is going to be required to be paid back and where those repayments are coming from,” he added.

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