City’s ’13 list: 1 street project

Wapakoneta city officials reviewed a list of street projects completed in 2012, but there is only one project set for 2013 — the $2.1 million East Auglaize Street project.

Wapakoneta City Council Streets, Alleys and Sidewalks Committee members, city administrators and other city officials Tuesday conducted a year-end review of street and sidewalk projects undertaken in 2012.

“We use this meeting to look back at the past year’s projects and to start to look forward at next year’s projects so we can help the Finance Committee in their budgetary process,” Councilor-at-large Dan Graf said after chairing the Streets, Alleys and Sidewalks Committee meeting. “We will be working on total reconstruction of East Auglaize Street and already a private contractor was out today (Tuesday) for a natural gas company looking at gas lines in the area.

“At present, all the money for streets will go toward the East Auglaize Street project so we will have to take a wait-and-see approach on the other possible street repaving projects for 2013,” the councilor said. “We will also have to take a wait-and-see approach for resurfacing Park Street and Plum Street using the Scrap Tire grant until we know if we are awarded any money through the program.We still have to apply for the grant, but if we receive it then we will have to look and see if we can find the money to meet the match.”

The East Auglaize Street project is a total reconstruction project with water, sanitary, stormwater and natural gas lines being replaced and the base of the street being redone before being paved from the CSX railroad tracks to Wood Street. The street also will be widened.

The city obtained a $1.34 million grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for reconstruction and $560,000 from ODOT’s Transportation grant to improve the streetscape.

The Scrap Tire grant requires a 50 percent match. Engineering Superintendent Mary Ruck estimated repaving 1,200 feet of Plum Street from South Blackhoof Street to Maple Street would cost $81,600 and 360 feet of Park Street from East Benton Street to Plum Street would cost $24,500.

The city would be responsible for approximately $53,500, based on the estimated cost of the project.

The city has used the grant in past years to do sections of South Wagner and South Rauthland streets.

Committee members also recommended Ruck apply for another round of Safe Routes to Schools grant money. She noted the grant requirements have changed and now requires a 20 percent local  match. The third phase would include sidewalks along Carnation and Poppy drives.

“You’ve brought in a little less than $1 million through this program, so I would suggest applying for another $500,000 for this phase and we need to take advantage of this as a city as long as the money is still available,” Councilor-at-large Tom Finkelmeier Jr. said, noting the city received money for the first two phases of the program.

The city recently finished sidewalk installation on Phase I along Redskin Trail and Lincoln Highway, or Ohio 501.

Committee members also reviewed the work on East Benton Street, West Mechanic Street and Short Road.

“I am glad we have a smooth road to go from the east side of town to the west side of town on Mechanic Street because that was one of my goals,” Graf said. “I am excited about East Benton Street being repaved from Bellefontaine Street to basically Willipie Street.

“I also am proud of the work of the Engineering Department since the East Benton Street project took a quite bit of their time and manpower and they were still able to get these other projects completed,” he said. “I hate to bring it up but as the citizens told us when we tried to do a street levy — be patient and do the streets you can within the budget and that is what we are doing, but it is more difficult.”