Village handles issue in house, saves money

Belmont will apply for grant to repave all streets

BELMONT — Village of Belmont officials decided to tackle a road repair project on their own, using municipal employees and equipment to save the village a substantial amount of money.

Village leaders obtained a preliminary estimate for the repaving of the 500-foot brick section of John Street, which has ruts and drainage problems, for $125,000. At this month’s council meeting, officials discussed several options, including the current temporary fix. It was decided instead that 50 feet of the worst part of the road would be torn up and chip sealed, for an estimated cost of $4,000.

According to the Ohio Department of Transportation, the chip seal process is when pavement is produced by heating liquid asphalt and mixing it with aggregate, with the mix then spread and compacted to form a durable road surface. ODOT has used chip seals for more than 25 years to maintain state routes, but only on low-traffic routes.

The village street crew already has removed the brick, filled the road bed with asphalt gravel and rolled it in place. The work took two days and cost the village around $600, according to Mayor Stan Sobel.

“This is just a temporary fix until we get a grant to pave all of Belmont’s roads,” Sobel said.

“We have not applied formally until we get preliminary engineering studies of all the roads. Lots of work needs to be done before the grant can be applied for. OMEGA (Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association) will be our conduit for this procedure.”

Sobel estimates it will take two years to do all the preliminary work that goes into applying for an Ohio Public Works Commission grant. If approved, the grant would provide funding for 75 percent of the cost of the repaving, with 25 percent being paid for by the village.

“We have to measure every street and get an engineering firm to draw plans for each and every road. From those plans bids will go out to companies to make their best bids according to the specifications,” Sobel said. “It is estimated that the project may cost out at $600,000-$700,000. The estimate is based on the costs that Bethesda incurred to pave their roads. We would be about 6/10 of their project probably, because we have about 6/10 of the streets to be paved. We are a long way from getting solid dollar amounts until engineering is completed.”

Sobel said one of the main reasons the village opted for the temporary fix of the brick section of John Street was because the more permanent repair of the road would be included in the grant.

“Why spend a huge amount of money to fix a road now when we can get 75 percent of it paid for via a grant?” Sobel said.

Sobel said he hopes the repairs will ease a large part of John Street’s problems until the road can be fully repaved.