Brookfield trustees are submitting two applications for Issue 1 funding that, if successful, will allow them to do four years of street paving in one year.
Issue 1 is a program that mixes state money generated from a bond issue with local matching funds for local infrastructure projects, and gives local officials a say in how the money is spent.
The township submits an Issue 1 application each year, which is how this year’s paving of Lucy Street was accomplished. The trustees on Aug. 24 approved applying for a grant to pave Golf Drive, Spring Road, Wintergreen Drive, Valley View Drive, Wildwood Drive and the northern section of Albright McKay Road from King Graves Road to where it widens just south of Amy Boyle Road. Road Supt. Jaime Fredenburg estimated the cost at $750,000, but he did not specify how much would come from the grant and how much from the township.
New this year – and thanks to the road levy passed in November by voters – the township is applying for an Issue 1, 0-interest loan to pave 24 streets, which would cover the years 2025, 2026 and 2027 in the 20-year road plan, which is posted on the township website.
Fredenburg estimated the cost to pave the 24 roads at $1,652,000, while the Trumbull County Engineer’s Office estimated $1,820,000. In any event, the amount of the loan would be based on the price of the contractor hired through a competitive bidding process, and paid back in annual installments for the useful life of the roads, which has not been determined, Fredenburg said he expects the useful life to be about 14 years. Even at the engineer’s high estimate, the annual payment would be about $130,000.
With the levy bringing in roughly $500,000 a year, the township still would have more than $350,000 a year for additional paving.
Trustee Dan Suttles pressed Fredenburg and the township officials to name any reasons the township should not apply for the loan.
If the cost of asphalt goes down, the township would end up paying more than it had to, Fredenburg said, but he also said he does not foresee the price going down.
Suttles also asked about all of the roads coming due for repaving at the same time. Fredenburg responded that some roads on the list already have a good base, others will be built from scratch, and that maintenance, such as seal coating, could be done on others to lengthen their lives. He also said that he will use a higher quality asphalt with a polymer or rubber mixed in it to extend road life.
“Zero percent, that’s the biggest attraction for me,” said Trustee Mark Ferrara. “Who’s gonna give you money for 0 percent? These (roads) are needed done. I think we’re speeding the process up, we’re maximizing our money we’re getting from the levy. I think it’s a win-win. And, we’re still gonna continue to do paving.”
“Being a devil’s advocate, I couldn’t find a downside,” he said.
Trustee Shannon Devitz said the biggest issue will be educating the public as to why they need to take out a loan.
“I think there’ll still be a positive reception to it, as long as we communicate why we do this,” she said.
Fiscal Officer Dena McMullin called the loan proposal “almost like a no-brainer.”
The other issue that will have to be explained is the timing of the work. If both applications are awarded, the money will not be released by the Ohio Public Works Commission until mid-July 2024. Fredenburg said it’s likely the successful contractor will have other work already lined up, making it unlikely it will be able to pave 30 streets by the time it started until the weather cools and conditions are not right to pave. The work could be split up over two years, or all of it could be done in 2025, Fredenburg said, saying the trustees would make the final determination.
Brookfield Township is applying for an Issue 1 loan that, if granted, would be used to pave the following streets:
Hubbard Thomas Road
Grove Street between Seaborn Street – also known as Seaburn street – and Route 7
Owsley Avenue between Lincoln Street and the dead end
Thanks to the flexibility of having a road levy – and a change in state law concerning the bidding threshold – Brookfield trustees were able to pave Ira and Hazelton streets and more of Ulp Street than Aqua Ohio had planned.
Aqua replaced water lines in the area and, after discussions with township officials, agreed to pay to pave Ulp Street between Brookfield Avenue and Ira Street and all of Davis Street, and not just the side of the road where a trench was dug, said township Road Supt. Jaime Fredenburg. However, Aqua did not want to pave all of Ira and Hazelton, or the 850 feet of Ulp between Ira and Fern Street.
Fredenburg had Wilson Construction/Lindy Paving, the contractor hired by Aqua to replace the lines and restore the roads, come up with a price to pave Ira and Hazelton and the bottom of Ulp, and it was just shy of $50,000.
Fredenburg said he thought the quote was “within reason,” but officials said they initially thought they could not have the extra work done because state law required that any project greater than an estimated $45,000 be awarded following a sealed bidding process.
However, as trustees were meeting on Aug. 14, Trustee Dan Suttles received a phone call from Trumbull County Assistant Prosecutor Jason Toth, who informed him that the bid threshold had been raised to $105,000 in the state budget that went into effect July 1. Based on that information, the trustees hired Wilson/Lindy to finish the paving of the targeted streets.
That meant that the only street in that neighborhood not paved was Fern.
“I think we’d be safe to say we can get to (Fern) in a couple years, next year or the year after,” Fredenburg said.
Aqua also paid to have all of Boyd Street, site of another water line replacement project, paved.