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Will Liberty pass road levy?

Published: Mon, February 3, 2014 @ 12:05 a.m.

patched potholes in liberty still provide for bumpy ride

By jeanne starmack



Mansell Drive has no potholes right now.

The road is dotted with cold-patch. It’s rough and bumpy, but free of those jagged tire-shredders.

That cold-patch, asserted trustee Stan Nudell, is going to last only about a month. Then the holes will be back, waiting to snare unsuspecting drivers.

Those drivers wouldn’t be residents who live on Mansell. The people who live on the road are well aware of its pitfalls and have had enough. Twenty-seven residents have signed petitions asking the township to fix the road.

Tibbetts-Wick Road extension residents are in a similar situation. Just past Logan Way, there is a warning sign: “Potholes. Thanks, trustees.”

Just past the sign, it’s pretty rough going. Cold-patch covers much of it, but it doesn’t help smooth out the bumps.

Residents on that stretch of road, which ends at state Route 43, also want the township to smooth things over.

One resident complained in a letter to trustees: “UNTIL the road can be repaired the proper way, IT SHOULD BE CLOSED.”

She suggested allowing only residents to use it. “Our road is a cut-through for many people,” she continued. “Many people who do not care about the speed limit and the condition of the road.”

The township can’t legally close the road, said Administrator Pat Ungaro. Nor does it have the money to fix Tibbetts-Wick, Mansell and 13 other roads in desperate need of resurfacing, said Nudell.

What the township does have is complaints — in the form of petitions, letters and phone calls.

“I’ve been getting phone calls like mad,” said Ungaro.

Nudell said people on Mansell “are furious.”

The complaints, Ungaro said, are largely what prompted the trustees to place a 1.25-mill 5-year levy on the May ballot that would generate money strictly for road resurfacing. The levy would generate $226,320 annually and would cost the owner of a $100,000 house $35 a year.

The levy was defeated in November 1,225 to 983 — a 243-vote difference.

Many residents believe Liberty’s taxes are too high. At 80 mills, they are higher than those of other townships, said Nudell.

The higher taxes though, are due to the township’s full-service police and fire departments, he said.

“You take police and fire away, and we’re at 68 mills, like the rest of the townships,” he said.

The largest share of millage, 54 percent, goes to the school district. Police is 14 percent, and fire is 12 percent. The rest is broken down among Trumbull County, the Trumbull County Joint Vocational School, county 911 service and the library, according to a chart the township has at its administration building.

Nudell said he doesn’t understand why residents didn’t pass the levy.

“We are not asking for more than we need,” he asserted.

Township officials hope this time around will be different with the support of residents behind it.

Mansell resident Karen Conklin, who organized the petition drive among her neighbors, has agreed to help. She will co-chair a levy campaign committee.

“This is a quality-of-life issue,” she said. “We should be able to walk down the street and not trip in a pothole.”

She said the tax is not a financial burden when people consider how much it costs to repair or replace a tire.

“[Nudell] said, ‘Here’s the deal: There’s no money and a whole list of roads,’” Conklin said.

“This has identified for me that this is a Liberty Township issue, not just our road,” she said. “How do we engage the residents whom this affects?”


1DontBanThisDrone(1013 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Put the existing revenue towards the roads - where it's supposed to go in the first place - and put a Payroll Levy on the ballot.



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2repeaters(313 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

The taxes in Liberty are 39% HIGHER than the NEXT HIGHEST community in Trumbull County. With that said:
1. "She said the tax is not a financial burden when people consider how much it costs to repair or replace a tire."
That's true; But add this tax increase and the new levy for the school in the fall, and you just made your tax burden higher.
2. "Many residents believe Liberty’s taxes are too high. At 80 mills, they are higher than those of other townships, said Nudell."
Liberty's total tax rate is 93%. That's not a myth; that's a fact.
3. One resident complained in a letter to trustees: “UNTIL the road can be repaired the proper way, IT SHOULD BE CLOSED.”
Well, if they close the road, how are you going to get out???? Get your neighbors together and have your properties assessed, and you can pay to have your road paved right now. You can even have sidewalks if you want to pay.

I could go on but one thing for sure, your township is broke, your school is broke, and your property values have plummeted, and foreclosures are high, and millions of dollars in unpaid property taxes; so WHO do you expect is going to pay for your new roads????

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3joebo1212(8 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

It didn't pass last fall because everyone in the townships knows how the trustees like to move money between the Fire, Police and the General Fund. How does a resident know that this money will be used specifically for road repairs. I live in the Liberty and work for a major Construction Company in the area and until i see something diffrent or a competive bid package put together to for resurfacing projects I am still sceptical on how they will use this additional funds.

Just doing rough estimates it would cost $500,000 to pave Tibbets Wick Road and $250,000 for Mansel Drive. To resurface them the correct way so they will last 20 years. If they do it the cheap way i could see the estimates cut in half and you will be resurface these roads in 5 - 10 years.

The levy wouldn't even cover enough to resurface one road per year if you are lucky maybe two smaller roads.

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4fcb(452 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Here's a small example how they will waste this money if that levy passes. Plans to pave Naylor-Lloyd Rd are over $700,000 dollars. Naylor-Lloyd Rd. is used as a short cut to go from Tibbetts-Wick Rd. to Belmont Ave. There are Five houses on this road. FIVE!! But the good news is there will be a brand new paved road that you can drive on pass the foundations of the old Liberty Apartments that have been a eyesore for over eight years!! Maybe the trustees are also planing on having a sight seeing tour bus and this would be one of the sights they could show visitors! GEEZ get a grip!

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5DontBanThisDrone(1013 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

With somewhere around 80% of a government's total budget going straight to payroll, it stands to reason that somewhere around 80% of this levy will go straight to payroll.

Vote how you wish.


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6thirtyninedollars(598 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

226k won't even resurface a half mile stretch.
Just like fcb and jobo stated the cost above for one road alone.
Vote no until Ungaro is replaced and the finances of the township are back within reason. I'm tired of watching 5 guys scratch their butt while one shovels cold patch into a hole. Or the roads not being plowed 12 hours after it stopped snowing.
Maybe they need to go part time cops, or have walmart pay into the police fund since it seems the cops spend all their time there anyway. The 911 system cost the township a lot of money they could have spent on the roads.
Speaking of the roads, they didn't just go bad in a year or two.
This is just bad management from the beginning.
WHere is the fracking money for the roads? You know the wells that are now running that a certain trustee said wouldn't allow?

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7DontBanThisDrone(1013 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

"You take police and fire away, and we’re at 68 mills, like the rest of the townships,"

Yeah, and take mortgage(s), credit cards, and student loans away, and I'm debt free.


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8Politico(28 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

I live off of Tibbets-Wick and the roads been a piece of crap for the last 5 years. When I moved here in 2002, it has gotten a repaving, but in a couple years it was deteriorating. This garbage about "it's just $35 per $100k" of valuation. I'm retired, and that bullshxt line of justification has jacked my property taxes up over $2000 over the years. This levy "is only..." and that levy "is only". STOP THE BS. All the surrounding townships have VOLUNTEER fire departments. Maybe it's time to give up this high cost luxury and to to a volunteer sytem. Firing Ungaro and having the trustees actually do the work they are elected to do, would also save a chunk and not pad Ungaro's public employee pension any more. I voted NO on the last levy and will vote NO on another one too until Liberty get's it act together, both at the trustee level and the screwed up school board.

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9Politico(28 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

The plan to repave Lloyd Naylor has to be a totally brain dead idea. As the above commenter said, 5 houses and a cut-through street. There's probably 40 or more houses on Tibbets Wick extension when you also include the homes on Appaloosa and adjoining neighborhood. Their priorities are screwed up on this. This is the stupid decisions that feed the no confidence factor in the local bureaucrats.

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10DontBanThisDrone(1013 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Knightcap wrote: "Reading this article I didn't see where Liberty is trying to cut expenses or having all employed contribute 20-25% to their health-care cost."

Well, why do you think they need more levies?


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11fcb(452 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

I commented earlier about paving Naylor-Lloyd Rd. Well,if you thought that was something,listen to this. Paving West Montrose St. at a cost of, and this is the figure the trustees used, $ 1,249,000.00!!!! If the trustees haven't looked lately I'll clue them in. West Montrose St. runs from Belmont Ave. west and dead ends into a fence from a exit ramp on IS#80. A total distance of about 1/4 of a mile!! That's right a 1/4 of a mile!! But wait, I think I just figured the whole thing out. Why I never thought of this earlier I don't know. Here goes. The trustees are living in the land of "OZ" and they are going to pave all these roads with "Yellow Bricks" That's why it will cost so much!! And I think Ungaro is the OZ. Levy? Good luck with that one.

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