A project to widen and pave a section of Owsley Street on the West Hill in Masury has run into an unusual complication, and will not be completed this year, as had been planned, said Julie Green, grants manager for Trumbull County.
The county is using federal money through a Community Development Block Grant to improve Owsley between Meek and Wheeler streets.
To widen the road, the contractor will have to cut down a number of trees, and that’s where the complication comes in. Bats can nest in those trees; hence, the trees can only be cut between Oct. 1 and March 31, when bats are not present, according to federal guidelines.
Trumbull County is in the range of two bats of note: the Indiana bat, an endangered species; and the northern long-eared bat, a threatened species, both of which were impacted by white-nose syndrome, a disease that has decimated bat colonies.
“The plan is to bid the project out in the fall, taking down trees where required before March 31, 2019, and paving to follow in spring 2019,” Green said.
The county is working with consultant Thomas Fok and Associates of Austintown, and the federal money is available through Aug. 30, 2019, she said.
Whenever the project, estimated at $74,000, is completed, the township should consider improving one of Owsley’s connecting streets, Wheeler Street, a mostly dirt road that runs between Boyd and Linden streets, said Brookfield Township Road Superintendent Jaime Fredenburg.
“Wheeler’s like a mine field,” he said.
Fredenburg said he would like to add material, grade the road and dig out the ditches
Because it is an unaccepted road, the trustees would need to authorize the work, he said.