Tuesday, June 13th, 2017
Celina snags grant for street work
Money to fund most of $1.3M project on Market Street
By William Kincaid
CELINA - Mayor Jeff Hazel on Monday night announced the state has awarded the city a substantial grant to cover most of the costs of the "long-overdue" West Market Street reconstruction project, likely in the summer of 2019.
In what he called a major milestone for the city, Hazel said the Ohio Department of Transportation's Small Cities Program has agreed to pay 95 percent of eligible costs up to $1.3 million.
"So we are very, very pleased with that," Hazel said. "We still have to come up with our 5 percent. That will be money well worth it."
The state program provides federal funds to cities with populations between 5,000 and 24,999. It's the same program that helped pay for improvements to Buckeye Street and Johnson Avenue in previous years, according to safety service director Tom Hitchcock.
Market Street will be reconstructed between Walnut and Riley streets, "which is where we stopped with the resurfacing there right past the courthouse up to where the swimming pool is," Hitchcock had said earlier this year, when city council members approved a resolution authorizing Hazel to apply for the grant.
"You all know that Market Street goes in front of (Mercer) Landmark and (it's) really a rough street," Hazel said. "A lot of things ... need to happen in there so this is a project long overdue."
The project likely will occur in the summer of 2019, meaning the city likely will have to pay to replace the underlying water line a year beforehand.
"That city street in that area is pretty destroyed. We've done a lot of patching in there. That has to be fully reconstructed," Hazel told the newspaper after the meeting.
The challenge will be to allow Mercer Landmark, a locally owned farm cooperative, to continue operations while the street is reconstructed, Hazel said.
"We've been in constant communication with Landmark over the last couple of years about how we're going to do this," he said.
Hazel also noted that most of the residential resurfacing work for the summer is completed. The Shelly Co. of Findlay was awarded a $304,429 contract to resurface several streets.
"We were very blessed to be able to get on the top of the list with Shelly," Hazel said. "Almost 6,000 feet of streets have been resurfaced and that's Timothy, Farmview, Pat Drive, Hoying, Lisle, Jefferson and Jackson and Zillah Street ... from Market up to Logan."
But two major infrastructure projects are just getting underway.
VTF Excavation of Celina on Monday began work on the East Livingston Street water-line replacement project that is expected to run through the fall. The firm was awarded a $619,858 contract, Hitchcock said this morning.
"That's going to be a major project," Hazel said. "We know it will be a pain, but we'll maintain traffic."
The water line will be replaced between Main and Enterprise streets. Next year, city officials plan to reconstruct the street.
Also, several improvements are planned for West Wayne Street in late summer/early fall. Shinn Brothers of Celina was awarded a $780,000 contract for the work expected to begin in the next week or so and last through the fall, Hitchcock said this morning.
A water line will be replaced between Riley and North Main streets. Workers will install new fire hydrants and water services to meter pits.
New pavement is planned from Riley to Mill Street. Curbs, gutters and sidewalks as well as storm sewers and catch basins will be replaced in several areas.
Local taxpayer dollars will fund all the street-related improvements this year. Most of the money will come from the 0.5-percent income tax for fire, police and streets.
City voters in November 2015 approved a ballot issue allowing funds raised by a seven-year additional income tax levy for police and fire services to also pay for street repairs.