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Hebron withholding payment until problems fixed

HEBRON – Nearly two dozen Kelly and Westview drive residents came to Wednesday night’s council meeting.

One by one nearly a dozen complained about problems with the $459,110 repaving project. Kokosing Construction was awarded the contract and started work July 7. The project includes a new curb and gutter and new driveway aprons.

Some residents have complained that their driveway cut is too high for them to get their vehicles into their driveway without scrapping. Others believe that their driveway aprons are not properly sloped to drain storm water into the street.

The complaints prompted a Sept. 3 meeting with several Kokosing managers. “I’m 100 percent disappointed with Kokosing,” Mayor Clifford Mason said Wednesday night. “I was fully expecting a written schedule.”

Senior superintendent Ted Mohan was the only Kokosing representative present Wednesday night. He is an asphalt superintendent but told Mason he is the project superintendent. Mason said that’s the first time he’s heard that Mohan is in charge.

Mohan said the written schedule got delayed due to some issues with Kokosing moving their paving crew from the northern end of the Ohio 37 repaving project to Hebron. He promised Mason would have it Thursday.

He added that Kokosing needs three more work days to wrap up the northern portion of Ohio 37. If weather cooperates, they plan to begin milling Kelly and Westview drives next Tuesday. They plan to remove 1.5 inches, but acknowledge that in some areas the milling will have to be much deeper to get the level of the roadway below the top of the new curbs.

Mohan said Kokosing has taken “ownership” of five driveways and will evaluate how to fix them once the repaving is complete. Village officials and residents maintain that far more than five driveways have to be fixed. Some driveway cuts have already been lowered.

“We aren’t in position to pay more money to Kokosing,” Mason emphasized several times. The curb cuts are being done by a subcontractor that Mason insists must be paid by Kokosing.

Weather permitting, Mohan said the milling and paving should be done next Friday if they are able to start on Tuesday and work everyday. When the pavement is complete, he said they will walk both streets with the village’s engineer and Hebron officials to see which driveways need to be fixed.

“We aren’t happy either,” Mason said as residents continued to express their concerns. “We aren’t going to pay the bill until you are satisfied.” Later he added, “Everyone will be able to access their driveway before we pay the bill.”

Council members followed up on that pledge at the end of the meeting. After a brief executive session to discuss pending litigation, council members unanimously agreed to hold the initial $70,966.55 payment to Kokosing.

Several residents expressed concern about where they are going to park while their street is being milled and repaved since they can’t get in their driveways.

“We can’t do milling and paving with parking,” Mohan said. Parking on the street will be prohibited from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. A traffic lane will be maintained during the work.

“We will assist you with some type of material to get you in the driveway,” Mason promised. Once Kokosing confirms the schedule in writing, village officials will hand-deliver letters to residents. Street Superintendent Dave Medley is the village’s designated point person for the project and residents will be given a cell phone number to contact him directly with any problems.

Brian Conghlan PE with Bird+Bull, the village’s long-time engineering firm, said the firm is committed to making sure the project is successful. Bird+Bull is providing a full-time inspector to closely monitor Kokosing’s work at no additional expense to the village.

In other business Wednesday night, council members unanimously agreed to schedule the “meeting of the minds” on how to address flooding from storms for 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 24. Several council members were concerned that holding the meeting during the day wouldn’t allow some affected residents to attend. Mason sympathized, but said a survey sent to the invited parties demonstrated that a business day meeting is necessary to get the technical experts to attend.

Coghlan confirmed that Bird+Bull will be resubmitting a proposal to conduct a hydrogeologic study. The cost will be under $20,000 since they will be able to use some existing data with one foot contours that is accurate to six inches. He added that once the leaves fall is the best time to do field evaluation. Leaves and other vegetation can interfere with GIS signals.

Council members will not take any action on the hydrogeologic study until after the Sept. 24 meeting.

Village Administrator Ralph Wise reported that the year-long water meter replacement project is essentially complete. Only three active accounts still have old meters, but they require separation of service lines. The number of meters not communicating with the collection towers is down to 11. Visits are being scheduled to determine whether individual meters are at fault. The new meters are covered by a 10-year warranty. Wise said the project was originally estimated to cost $600,000 but it came in at $420,000.

Council members also set Beggar’s Night as 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 30.

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