The majority of East Auglaize Street residents interviewed by the Wapakoneta Daily News backed the massive road reconstruction and beautification project scheduled for 2013.
While some residents did express some reluctance about losing some of the trees as part of the overall street project, all but one of the 10 residents contacted between the 300 and 600 blocks on East Auglaize declared their approval of the project.
“It stinks to lose the trees for shade,” said Paul Keith, who lives at 601 E. Auglaize St, “but every thing needs updated from time to time.”
Diane Boisin, who lives at 611 Auglaize St., said the repairs were a long time coming. She said she agrees entirely with the street reconstruction plan and the landscaping plan.
“The old combination drain kept backing up
into our basement and we had to put a backflow in,” Boisin said. “The whole street floods. Its kind of nice that they are doing this work.”
Residents will experience no assessment costs for the project, which is currently estimated at a total cost of $2.5 million. Though the street work and landscaping are being done as separate projects, work will be done for both projects simultaneously.
The city received $1.34 million from the Ohio Department of Transportation for the $2 million reconstruction project. They also applied for and received $559,680 in Transportation Enhance grant money for landscaping along the street. The grants require a 20 percent match of city funds, while the grants provide 80 percent of the total cost.
Dave Curry, who lives at 504 E. Auglaize, said the project also brings improved safety along the road.
“The road is narrow and I have had two cars totaled due to people running into them,” Curry said. “I think it is wonderful that they are doing this work. A lot of times you get smells from the sewer and it is required that this be done anyways to meet EPA requirements.
“The benefits of this project far outweigh the negatives,” Aaron Longsworth, a resident at lives 410 E. Auglaize St,, said. “I think it will look nice to continue the look right into downtown. I have lost a mirror on a vehicle because of how narrow the road is so this is a welcome project.”
Of people that answered when approached, only one person spoke out in opposition to the project. She would only comment that the project “was not necessary,” and she refused any further comment.
Mark Croy, who lives at 404 E. Auglaize St., looked at the street below his front porch and said he welcomes the changes coming.
“I like the fact they are redoing the street — I love it,” Croy said. “The street needs to be redone.”
He especially welcomes the road reconstruction project because it will replace the stormwater and sanitary sewer lines with newly separated systems that should help the area. He also said he likes the fact the old, larger trees which are starting to age and have dead branches along the road are being removed for smaller trees.
“I am glad they are redoing all the infrastructure and getting rid of the old trees because the roots got into my sanitary sewer pipe and it cost me hundreds of dollars to get that cleared — so getting rid of them is good,” Croy said.
While he has a garage and a parking space in the back, he also addressed the widening of the street.
“Occasionally I will park out front, but I have to park on the other side of the street and take parking spots away from those residences and from Moon Florist, who needs it for their business,” Croy said. “So to have parking on both sides of the street will be nice, then I can park in front of my own house and my friends can park on this side (north side) as well.”