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Zero-percent loan to help pave Strub Road

Andy Ouriel • Feb 3, 2014 at 7:40 AM

For the first time in a while, Perkins Township trustees have committed money to pave a road they oversee.

Problem is, they’re fully funding this $605,000 in their already-tight budget.

Trustees recently voted 3-0 to pave about 8,400 feet along West Strub Road between Campbell Street and Old Railroad Road.

Crews won’t pave areas recently resurfaced, including the intersection of West Strub Road and Hayes Avenue near NOMS.

The project should start and end sometime in 2014.

A decision to pave this busy, albeit bumpy, corridor occurred right after trustees publicly discussed missing out on a state grant that would’ve covered about half the project’s total cost.

State officials, upon rejecting Perkins’ application, countered with their own proposal, offering trustees a 10-year, no-interest loan totaling $275,000 for West Strub Road improvements.

While not ideal, all three trustees voted to accept the loan.

“I don’t see how we can do this project on our own,” trustee Jeff Ferrell said.

The project’s finances breaks down as such:

• Township taxpayers will immediately front $330,000.

• The state loan will provide $275,000, with township taxpayers coughing up this amount to repay the loan.

The financial decision adds onto Perkins’ total debt, equaling about $1 million today.

Ferrell said trustees will make necessary budget adjustments to accommodate this project. The township’s budget totaled $8.5 million in 2013 and should equal the same amount in 2014.

“This is the only way I know how we can get Strub Road done,” Ferrell said. “We have been delaying it for two years now”

Township trustees previously passed on a grant to pave West Strub Road — a decision they now regret.

In September 2012, trustees rejected a $175,000 state grant that would have covered upgrades on this corridor of West Strub Road.

“My personal opinion is to go ahead with it, get it paved and taken care of” trustee Tim Coleman said.

The conversation then quickly transitioned from paving one road to upgrading all 46 miles of streets Perkins Township oversees.

A budget crunch forced trustees to withhold funds for any road improvements in 2012 and 2013, and it’s unlikely any other township roads — other than West Strub Road — will be paved in 2014.

“We have not paved any roads for a few years because of funding” Coleman said. “It may come to the point where we ask the residents (through a vote) if they want to fund a paving program. It will take some background information. All we are doing right now is paving a mile a year. We can’t wait another 45 years to pave all of our roads”

Trustee Jim Lang requested that trustees immediately compile a list and rank which roads are in dire need of enhancements.

Among the bumpiest roads: those in the Columbus Park subdivision, including Boston Road; Lisbon and Richmond circles; and Dallas, Denver, Hartford and Memphis avenues.

“The residents’ streets need to be repaved” Lang said. “We need to sit down and make a list of priorities, but (Strub Road) is No. 1 right now”

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