NORTH ROYALTON – Mayor Bob Stefanik has officially released the streets to be repaved for this year’s roads program.
He is proposing to tackle Abbey Road between Sprague and Albion roads, both Goodman and Hawley drives, and Akins Road between Ridge and Bennett roads. The mayor made the announcement at council’s streets committee June 2, after The North Royalton Post deadline. Preliminary estimates total just over $1 million for all four. Council was receptive to these four recommendations and will yay or nay the bids once they are received.
“Drive these four roads if you haven’t,” Council President Larry Antoskiewicz, street’s vice chair, urged. “These are really obvious, and they took a beating this winter.”
“These are obvious, just drive down Abbey,” Ward 6 Councilman Dan Kasaris agreed. “Abbey is probably the worst in the city next to Bennett.”
Ward 4 Councilman Paul Marnecheck, streets chair, said this year’s program is aggressive, spending 35 percent more on roads than last year and tackling 12,643 feet of roadway.
“We’re re-prioritizing where we are spending money. We had a tough winter and realize we have a great opportunity this summer, so we’re looking to replace more than 12,000 feet of roadway. We want to keep making progress,” he said. “Money is being spent all over the city on well-traveled roads, as well as roads that are strictly residential.”
Abbey’s concrete base will be redone and overlaid with asphalt and is estimated at $424,500. Goodman will be an asphalt overlay mirroring the work done on Tiffany, Stephanie and Christopher drives in 2012 and Pinebrook Estates last year. It is estimated at $247,500. Hawley is the same process as Goodman and is estimated at $246,500. And Akins will be a mill and fill for approximately $147,500.
The city will use $320,000 left over from the roads program toward these streets and will pay the rest in cash from the general fund. Income tax collections are up $300,000 for the year and the city carried over $1.5 million from last year. Even after paying for the streets, the city is projected to end the year with at least $1 million.
“And that’s if the departments spend every penny, and we don’t allow them to do that,” Stefanik said.
Ward 5 Councilman Steve Muller was happy to see more of a permanent fix for these roads as undoubtedly more will need done too in the future.
“We have other portions of roadway we have to seriously look into in the future. It’s good to see we have revenue that can be spent on improving some of these roadways in a more finished fashion where they are repaved rather than having potholes that are filled and crack work done, which is more of a temporary fix,” he said.
These roads are being done in addition to the $2.8 million Bennett Road project between Edgerton Road and Bridgewater Drive. The county is paying 80 percent of the cost there. North Royalton’s 20 percent share is approximately $440,000 and was budgeted for this year.
Though council liked what they heard, one resident, however, objected to the asphalt overlay on Goodman, currently a concrete street.
Antoinetta D’Ambrosio circulated her own petition in the neighborhood which dozens of residents signed asking that the road be redone in concrete instead of asphalt. D’Ambrosio was the only resident who attended the meeting and voiced concerns. Her argument is primarily aesthetic in nature, though she was concerned about the depth of potholes the overlay would have to cover and those “popping out” over time. She worries the two concrete cul-de-sacs off Goodman, not part of the project, will look “tacky” against asphalt.
“Perfect concrete covered in asphalt. How’s it going to look? It’s going to look tacky,” she said. “It’s not going to look nice. It’s going to look patchy.”
Redoing the street in concrete would cost at least $800,000, nearly triple the price. Stefanik said the base underneath the entire drive is in good condition, so to tear out good concrete simply to achieve a certain look would be “foolish.”
“We would be taking a perfectly good concrete base and putting in a new concrete base. It would be a waste of concrete. There’s no way we could spend tax dollars that foolishly. I have 30,000 other residents to think about,” he said. “The residents on Stephanie, Tiffany and Christopher didn’t want asphalt either, but now they are thrilled.”
It is the exact scenario that happened on Stephanie, Tiffany and Christopher in 2012. Those streets were slated for asphalt, but residents there wanted concrete like Bunker received for uniformity’s sake.
D’Ambrosio said she understood cost is a factor but said if the city is proceeding with asphalt, then it should asphalt the two cul-de-sacs as well, creating a uniform look. Officials said the two cul-de-sacs do not need to be addressed now.
Ward 2 Councilman Gary Petrusky admitted he had the same reservations she does in 2012. He said those three streets look as good today as they did the day they were done.
“To be honest, I was skeptical how it would hold up. Those roads have held up wonderfully. The roads look as good today as they did three years ago. I recommend this,” he said referring to the asphalt overlay.