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Progress made on $1.1 million road upgrade in Weathersfield

WEATHERSFIELD — Township officials have updated a major road improvement project that has been years in the making.

At a recent meeting, trustees approved a motion to authorize Administrator David Rouan to enter into an agreement with Environmental Design Group of Akron to perform a “level 1 ecological survey report,” as part of the Ohltown Girard Road improvement project.

The ecological survey is being performed at two locations on the street, which is also referred to as County Line Road. Culverts are set to be replaced at the two locations.

“That’s standard process that they have to go through when working on these projects,” Rouan said. “They have to evaluate any ecological impacts while you’re working in those culverts. You have to make sure there’s no wetland or environmental impacts.”

The township is paying the Akron company $7,750 for the ecological study. It will be funded entirely through grant funds.

The total project cost is $1,115,174. Weathersfield is paying for it with $892,140 in funding from the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program through the Federal Highway Administration and with $223,034 from the Ohio Public Works Commission.

Ohltown Girard Road will be repaved between state Route 46 and Four Mile Run Road near the Austintown border.

“The trustees have been working on this project, they always make jokes about the speed at which the public sector operates, but this project has been ongoing literally for seven or eight years,” Rouan said. “It’s quite a process to secure the funding. … And then it’s quite a process to build it. You have to administer the grant as well. It’s quite the undertaking.”

Weathersfield partnered with Austintown in applying for funds for the County Line Road project. Rouan said that for a road like County Line, the partnership with Austintown was necessary.

“I think it’s important to note, there is no township money being spent on this $1.1 million project,” Trustee Chairman Steve Gerberry said.

One question raised by residents at the meeting was how the project would handle drainage issues on the road.

Rouan said the project is being engineered, and any potential drainage problems will be addressed.

“Hopefully (the drainage) will be improved and prevented from creating future problems along the roadway,” he said.

Gerberry said it has been 14 years since the road was last paved.

Rouan said the Ohltown Girard Road resurfacing is what is called a “mill and fill” project. He said it should result in a “great road for quite some time.”

Rouan said he initially hoped the project could start this fall, but that date had been pushed back to the spring of 2025.

In other business, the trustees:

* Adopted a resolution to transfer $25,000 from the township’s general fund to its roads and bridges fund.

* Adopted a resolution to advance $50,000 from the township’s general fund to its police district fund.

* Approved a motion authorizing Administrator David Rouan to enter into various agreements for the 2024 Flag Day Festival.

* Approved a motion authorizing Rouan to assist with planning, preparation, setup, operation, takedown and other matters for the Flag Day Festival and Flag Day Parade during regular township work hours and to schedule additional hours during the evening or over the weekend or as needed.

* Authorized use of the community park property for the Flag Day Festival beginning Monday, June 3 and ending Monday June 10.

* Approved a motion to reappoint Trustee Richard Harkins to the Mahoning Valley Sanitary District Advisory Council.

* Accepted the resignation of Patrick Glunt from the township’s Board of Zoning Appeals, effective March 31, and to appoint John Polanski to the unexpired term, effective April 1.

* Appointed Matthew Glidewell to the unexpired term as an alternate member of the Board of Zoning Appeals, effective April 1.

* Approved a motion to authorize Police Chief Michael Naples Jr. to renew the annual service agreement with the Mahoning Valley Crisis Response Team for 2024 and contribute $2,000.

* Accepted a donation of $100 from Richard and Karen Bucher for the fire department.

mcole@tribtoday.com

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