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City moves forward on paving plans

City officials must move quickly if the largest paving project in the city’s history is to begin before paving season ends.

Tuesday, August 31, 1999

City officials must move quickly if the largest paving project in the city’s history is to begin before paving season ends.

The paving project, which is funded through federal grant money that cannot be moved from the designated street to any alternate streets, must be completed before early November, city engineer Joe McCallister said.

Otherwise, the paving season will end and the $540,000 project will remain incomplete until next spring when weather conditions are once again optimal.

Ironton City Council members agreed with that assessment at council’s regular meeting Thursday and passed an ordinance requesting the Ohio Department of Transportation’s assistance in the resurfacing project.

Although the project will not cost the city any money, council members Hugh Donald Scott and Bob Vaughn voted against the measure.

Scott restated his requests that the city fund a paving project for the residents of Orchard Hollow.

But, these two issues are separate, council chairman Jesse Roberts explained.

"The residents of that area understand that the initial paving must be paid for by the residents, just like every other street in Ironton. Every resident living on a paved street was assessed for the initial paving, without exception," Roberts said. "The residents have expressed a desire to pay for the paving, and we are looking into ways they can repay the city for any money the city might spend on the project, but we must follow the Ohio Revised Code in doing so."

The grant money, however, cannot be transferred from the designated, "on-system" roads that the state will pay for. These roads are chosen by the federal government as alternate access routes in the event that the main highway, U.S. 52, is blocked.

And, it is illegal to use grant money for anything other than its intended purpose, Roberts said.

The grant, part of the Surface Transportation Program (STP) is available for this network of roads and highways that are designated as either emergency routes or alternative routes.

Because the grant funding only covers designated roads, the city engineering department and Ironton Mayor Bob Cleary’s office worked out a systematic process of elimination for the roads they are allowed to pave with the grant money, McCallister said.

Of the roads included in the "on-sysem" roads, only those in the greatest state of disrepair were chosen for either paving or repair.

Streets in the project include:

– All of Second Street from the city limits at Hanging Rock to Jefferson Street.

– Sixth Street from Park Avenue to Railroad Street

– Madison Street from Second Street to Campbell Avenue

– Campbell Avenue from Madison Street to Adams Street

– Adams Street from Campbell Avenue to Second Street

– Spruce Street from Third Street to Ninth Street

– Ninth Street from Spruce Street to Maple Street

– Fifth Street from Spruce Street to McGovney Street

– Lorain Street from Third Street to Sixth Street

– Third Street from the city limits at Coal Grove to the rail crossing near AlliedSignal

"This project is a tremendous opportunity for the City of Ironton, and it is another way the citizens are benefiting from the Empowerment Zone, which has money designated for street repair that we are able to use for the matching 20 percent for this grant," Cleary said. "With those funds, possibly the largest paving project in the city’s history will not cost the city, or the residents, a thing. And it will help improve the city’s streets, which will improve access and the overall appearance of the city."

A start time for the project has not yet been determined.