|Portage sets about prioritizing its projects to help protect itself in event of accidents|
|Written by DEBBIE ROGERS Sentinel Staff Writer|
|Tuesday, 06 March 2012 13:22|
PORTAGE - The last time the village mayor remembers streets being dug up to the bare bones, he was 10 years old.
That's when a sewer line was being installed. And while Portage streets have had repairs here and there over the years, there are a few dire projects in the wings.
They're going to stay there until the village emerges from fiscal emergency and is allowed to spend money.
"What I'd like to do is take every street in town and prioritize (improvements)," Mayor Mark Wolford said at Monday's council meeting.
After the meeting, he said the project heading the top of the priority list isn't a street at all - it's the sinking storm sewers along Ohio 25 that are marked with orange barrels. Wolford estimated it's been 65 years since they were replaced.
He recently met with an insurance agent, who encouraged the Portage administration to stay on top of prioritizing the improvements and getting cost estimates in case of an accident. If someone drove over a sewer and it sank, the village could be sued. A priority list could show the village is doing what it can with the fiscal emergency situation.
As far as street repairs go, Wolford said East Main Street is in the worst shape.
He added that he is looking forward to the Walnut Street improvement project starting this spring, for two reasons. The village received a $55,700 Community Development Block Grant for the 100 block last year.
The top reason is to have the work done at no cost. The second reason, Wolford said, is to see what the road is made of; that will help with the priority list and cost estimates.
The village could have used money from a 1.6-mill streets levy for repairs, but voters failed that request, along with an income tax, in November.
A complete list of projects would include storm drains, streets, curbs and sidewalks, Wolford said.
Also at the meeting, council:
• Heard Wolford say Solicitor Paul Skaff will petition Bowling Green Municipal Court to release its mayor's court fund of $8,057. The money would go toward the village's deficit, which was approximately $118,000 in January. The village eliminated the police department in December 2010 a few months after it went into fiscal emergency with the state.
• Heard a complaint about the pedestrian crosswalk. Reportedly, vehicles are not stopping when it's activated. "I tested it today and almost got clipped," the mayor said. He'll ask the Wood County Sheriff's Office for extra patrol. Councilman John Jividen also suggested recording license plate numbers of vehicles that don't stop.
• Approved an emergency resolution establishing an agreement with the Wood County Emergency Management Agency for $219.
• Heard Village Administrator Ron Sharp say a vandalized corporation limit sign on Portage Road needs to be replaced.
• Voted to get a Dumpster outside the town hall from April 1 through Oct. 1 for $37 a month.
• Saw Brinkman demonstrate a few options for a new village Web site. He will continue working on it.
• Heard Wolford report that StoneCo will petition the Wood County Commissioners for property annexation into the village this week. This is part of a year-long deal to rezone property for StoneCo, which owns park property that Wolford hoped a non-profit railroad group would use. That group reportedly decided to remain in the Findlay area.
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