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Road reconstruction to cost township more

JACKSONTOWN – It’s going to cost more to rebuild Hupp Road, but Licking Township Trustees believe they will end up with a better road.

Last spring – after their third try – the Ohio Public Works Commission agreed to provide $307,487 toward the estimated $390,000 project, with the township coming up with about $80,000. Hupp Road runs from Ohio 13 to Fairmount Road.

An alternative was added to the original bid based on some suggestions made by The Shelly Company during the mandatory pre-bid conference. Plans were to increase the road’s width from 16 feet to 18 feet. The original plan was to excavate one foot on each side of the road to provide a base for the additional one foot in width on each side. Given the existing condition of the roadway’s edge, the Thornvillebased paving company recommended milling one foot of the existing roadway on each side to provide a better joint and base for the edge of the roadway.

Trustees pushed back their second August meeting twice to provide more time for bidders. Bids were to be opened at Monday night’s meeting. The Shelly Company submitted the only bid. The company bid $407,344.25 based on the original advertised specifications. Their bid for the alternate was $428,952.

Since the OPWC grant is fixed, the additional cost will be borne by the township. Both Shelly bids include $8,550 for fencing that may not be needed and $6,800 for thermoplastic center line markers. A simple dashed yellow line would be much less expensive.

President Joe Hart asked fiscal officer Jill Linn if the township could afford a worst case increase of $50,000 in the township’s share. She said the township had the money, but it would have to come out of the general fund. Trustee Dave Miller who has primary responsibility for township roads pushed to award the contract during the meeting. The project has to be done this year or the township loses the grant. He noted that the grant saves Licking County some $100,000 by funding the replacements of four culverts which are a county responsibility.

“It is a win:win for us and Tim Lollo (county engineer),” Miller said.

There was some discussion about the completion date. Linn said Shelly had not filled in information about their anticipated completion date. “I saw the completion date as October 30,” Shelly representative Ross Kirk told trustees. “There is a solid six weeks of work to do out there.” Kirk said plans are to start as soon as everything is signed. Trustees unanimously agreed to approve a contract of up to $428,952 with The Shelly Company.

In other business Monday night, Hart brought an email from an Over Drive resident asking whether the township is considering a township-wide waste collection contract. MIller said he is concerned about residents having to pay an extra fee for recycling when recycling opportunities are already available in the township. He was told that recycling service is an option in Union Township that started a three-year exclusive contract with Big O effective July 1.

“Why don’t we at least think about it?, Hart suggested. He acknowledged that the recent prices in Franklin and Union townships might not be the same in Licking Township.

“I’m not for it right now,” Trustee Ron Acord told Hart. When Hart asked how he should respond, Miller said, “Table it at this point in time.” Hart will respond that there’s no interest in it at this time per Acord and Miller.

Fire Chief Mike Wilson asked for approval to spend up to $32,000 for up to 17 sets of firefighter turnout gear. He explained that he is letting firefighters chose between leather or rubber boots, and select their gloves. Each set which includes pants, suspenders, coat, boots and gloves costs about $2000. Wilson hopes to replace all the turnout gear over the next two years. Trustees unanimously agreed to his request.

Wilson said runs had picked up recently and the fire company is now close to last year’s pace. Wilson arrived at the meeting after a second day of battling a fire in some 96 hay bales at a Roley Hills farm. He called out township road worker Steve Patterson on Sunday to use the township’s backhoe to pull apart the smoldering bales. Wilson thanked several neighboring farmers for also helping pull the bales apart with their tractors. He said the fire was arson.

Miller said he spent most of the day with a Shelly foreman going over the repaving project in detail. The width of the Lake Drive paving will be increased two feet. Repaving on Terrace will be extended 10 more feet. Miller said limbs overhanging the roadway from one property on Dartmouth Road in Harbor Hills must be removed if the township wants the road repaved. Since the property owner has apparently refused to cut them back, Miller said the township will lop off the offending limbs, leaving them on the property. Resurfacing work should begin late next week.

Miller also recommended that trustees sign an agreement with Wayne Homes to settle a road damage claim on Wilshire Drive for $500. Heavy trucks coming to a new home site damaged the roadway. Trustees unanimously agreed to the settlement which releases Wayne Homes from any future claims.

After months of discussing plans and then bids to remove some trees and stumps in three cemeteries, Miller suggested giving the low bidder, Mike’s Tree Service, part of the contract to see how it works out. “He had everyone beat by $5,000,” Miller explained. Miller wanted to try him out in Sanford Cemetery, before awarding the much bigger job in Jacksontown Cemetery. “I just want it done right,” he said. Trustees unanimously agreed to the trial award.

Acord said the metal roof on the township garage is going to have to be replaced. He presented one bid. “I would like to see at least one more estimate,” Hart told Acord. He’ll have more bids by the next meeting.

Trustees decided to hold just one meeting in September. That meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Monday, September 20 at Licking Township Fire Company Station 3 on Jacksontown Road (Ohio 13).

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