By Timothy Cox
MENDON -- Village officials need to begin thinking about the details of a proposed reconstruction of Main Street through the heart of town.
Jared Ebbing, a Fanning/-Howey Associates engineer who is working with village officials, updated them at Tuesday's meeting on the status of the street project. Officials still are awaiting final approval from the Ohio Public Works Commission on an application for $300,000 in assistance.
"It looks more than favorable," Ebbing said of the grant application, adding that village officials should hear within the next few weeks if they were approved for the money.
Officials are hoping to land the $300,000 grant to use it with another $300,000 grant the town received through the Community Development Block Grant distressed community program. Village leaders and Mercer County officials have set aside another $120,000 for the project, which would completely rebuild Main Street, along with all sewers and sidewalks, from the south corporation limit to Market Street in the center of town.
Ebbing requested a group of volunteers be put together to walk the construction route with engineers. Designers need guidance on some issues before finalizing plans, he said. Engineers need advice on whether the entire stretch should be a 32-foot-wide or 36-foot-wide paved surface. They also need to know council's plans for a tree lawn along the narrowest stretch of the street, about the placement of existing utilities and whether they want to try to acquire more right-of-way from property owners to widen the street.
Complicating matters is a slight jog in the street. At that same point, the right-of-way drops from 66 feet to just 45 feet wide, Ebbing said. Contractors and engineers generally want a minimum 50-foot right-of-way for road projects, he said.
Council members also must decide if they want to try to finish the project this year. Finding competitive bids and available contractors might be difficult; many already are booked through the paving season, Ebbing said. Terms of the grants allow the village to wait until next spring to complete the work. Prices might be more favorable by waiting, Ebbing said.
In another matter, council members failed to fill the council seat vacated last month by Lloyd Boyer, who moved out of the community. Council members met in executive session to discuss the matter but did not appoint anyone to the seat after the closed door session.
Residents John Boroff and April Grunden have expressed interest in filling the seat. Both attended Tuesday's meeting.
Because council failed to act, it will now be up to Mayor William Buffenbarger to appoint someone to fill out Boyer's unexpired term. He is expected to make the appointment at the May 18 council meeting. Residents should have a copy of their utility bill to verify residency.