2012-06-23 / News

Trustees award road repair contract

By Scott Rawdon

UNION TOWNSHIP- Union Township Administrator Paula Greene expects Small’s Asphalt Paving Inc. of Gambier to begin paving projects in Union Township within the next couple weeks after the company’s bid came in well under a rival bid from Thornville’s Shelly Company Monday night.

Just two bids were received for the following upgrade projects:

Crack seal: Auld Ridge Way, Canyon Villa Drive, Caroline Drive, Mallard Point, O’Neill Drive, Reserve, and the entire Water’s Edge subdivision.

Chip Seal: Brynwood Circle, Canyon Court, Eulah Drive, and Hallie Lane.

Berms: Canyon Road, Dew Mar Drive, Eulah Drive, Ithaca Road, and O’Neill Drive.

The road surface on the Grandview Crossing bridge will be repaired. More concrete repairs will be completed on Squire Lane and O’Neill Drive will be striped.

Small’ s Asphalt bid $ 27,563.84 compared to $42,205.30 bid. A Shelly representative said the company made its own field measurements, determining that the bid’s paving distances were overstated and the actual project would take less material to accomplish and likely cost $10,000 to $11,000 less than the quantities specified in the request for bids.

Trustees agreed that even so, Small’s bid was less and they assumed the Small’s engineers considered the same thing. They unanimously agreed to award Small’s the contract.

In other township news:

• Deeds Road resident and Granville School Board President Amy Deeds said she represented some residents who signed a petition in favor of a greenspace levy, similar to Granville Township, which strategically purchases parcels of land to block annexations and halt overdevelopment. “We’re trying to gauge interest at this point,” she said, handing the trustees a copy of the petition.

She said she strongly supports targeted greenspace protection, which Granville began doing in 1997 to block annexations to the City of Newark and surrounding municipalities. “The goal is not to buy up everything in sight,” she said. “This is a way to save money in the long run. This is an opportunity at our level to take control.” Deeds said a group of residents are ready to start a campaign. “We think Union Township is worth preserving,” she said.

Trustee Rick Black wondered if such a levy would tax residents in the incorporated areas, such as Hebron and Buckeye Lake Village. He said the petition had roughly 100 signatures but many were from the Village of Hebron, which is an incorporated area.

Trustee Jesse Ours said the millage would be a huge factor in a greenspace levy’s success and also conservation easements could be purchased so the land could be farmed.

Trustee President Johns Slater said there may be enough interest to form an advisory committee to explore options.

“Originally, Granville Township’s focus was protecting our borders from both annexation and development, and our greenspace levy has been utilized successfully and effectively in that regard,” said Granville Township Trustee Bill Mason. “We have also placed a number of large farms under conservation easements to keep them from being developed as well.”

Mason said to his knowledge, Granville Township’s greenspace levy has not had a primary focus upon protecting property values, although that may be an extra benefit. “We have an open space committee that serves at the pleasure of township officials on an advisory basis that researches and makes land preservation recommendations to the trustees,” said Mason, who added that trustees have also utilized FRPP (federal farm, ranch property preservation) funding to help reduce the local contribution to land preservation contracts. “Granville Township’s open space levies have been around for some time now and were one of the early such levies in the state,” he said.

Granville Township Trustee Paul Jenks said Granville Township has two greenspace levies – one 2.5 mills and a one mill – which in total raise roughly $1 million per year. The levies are also assessed on property in Granville Village.

“We’ve done some (land purchasing) in the village, but not a lot,” he said, referring to a parcel of land near Wildwood Park in Granville, which a builder was threatening to develop. With the lack of residential development pressure since the recession, Jenks said there’s been some debate as to the value of the greenspace levies, but voters continue to approve them.

“I don’t feel we have any development pressures at this point, the way the economy is,” said Black, although he said it would be interesting to discuss the subject with community members to gain their opinions.

“It’s something to keep in the back of our minds,” said Greene. She said township officials will look into the possibility of a greenspace levy, but right now it would be tough to ask property owners for more money.

• Licking County Municipal Court Judge David Stansbury attended Monday night’s meeting to tell trustees that people who can’t afford the court fees they owe are doing community service instead, and he’s encouraging non-profits and governmental agencies to use their services.

He assured trustees that the workers are not a “bad element” and pose no threat to anyone’s safety. Most of the community service workers pick up trash from along roadways. “It’s not glamorous, but it needs done,” said Stansbury. They also do small projects like painting and landscaping. He said the township would not be liable if the workers are injured on the job. “It’s kind of a win, win situation for everyone,” Stansbury, who added that the workers make the equivalent of $10 per hour.

Greene said she’s familiar with the program and the township has used (at no cost to the township) community service workers and non-violent offender prisoners in the past with success. She said she and a sheriff’s deputy always supervise the workers while they are on site.

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