By Elise Franco
Nearly four miles of township roads are included in this year’s resurfacing project, which is back from a year-long, money-saving hiatus.
Township trustees on Monday awarded the 2012 resurfacing contract to R.T. Vernal Paving and Excavating Inc. of North Lima. The company was the lowest of six that presented bids last month, and the total contract is $334,050.
Trustee David Ditzler said the paving will encompass about 3.5 miles of the 125 miles of roads that the township maintains.
Dizter said the paving will occur on larger sections of 13 to 15 township roads, though he was unable to obtain a specific list Monday night.
“In the past, we’ve done 300- to 500-foot sections on some roads,” he said. “We tried to narrow it down and do larger stretches,” he explained.
Ditzler said an increase in asphalt cost means the township is doing less paving with the same amount of money as in past years.
“We used to do 10 or 11 miles of paving 10 years ago, for the same price,” he said.
Austintown’s resurfacing plan is similar to Boardman Township’s, which approved a contract in June with Shelly Co. of Twinsburg for $363,703.74. Boardman will resurface all or portions of 14 roads or a total 3.7 miles. Boardman Township maintains 144.06 miles of road.
Diztler said Austintown put paving on hold for the first time in 2011 because of budget constraints. He said the replacement police levy, approved in March, freed up some general-fund money that was being used to balance the police-department budget.
“We always try to allocate some general fund money to resurfacing projects, and this year, we were able to do that again,” he said. “Last year, when we didn’t do anything, it was definitely noticeable.”
Ditzler said the trustees want to expand the resurfacing project in coming years and hope to use some of the funds generated by the racino that Penn National Gaming Inc. plans to relocate to Austintown this year.
Penn National is expected to pay Austintown Township $1 million for the first two years, per requirements in recent legislation. There also is a memorandum of understanding for Penn National to give Austintown $500,000 annually after the first two years, Eric Schippers, company spokesman said previously.
“With additional money from the racino directed toward infrastructure, we hope to catch up on the problem roads,” Ditzler said.