Liberty looks at options for road problems

LIBERTY — With large potholes and eroded surfaces peppering township roads, trustees are reviewing options of what they can do both short-term and long-term. More than 35 residents attended Monday’s township trustees meeting to complain that their roads are getting worse.

The main problem, township trustees said, is the lack of money to fix roads. They are considering placing an additional 1.25-mill road levy on the November general election ballot as an option to raise cash needed for chip-and-seal and paving work.

They said they are considering trying to do chip-and-seal work in 2019, 2020 and 2021 at a rate of 14 roads a year, if the money is available.

“We are working on a solution to sell to the residents. We can only make proposals. Any plan we do needs money. The residents have to vote the money in,” Trustee Chairman Arnie Clebone said.

“We understand we have a terrible problem and will discuss what we can do on a short-term basis,” he said.

Several Kline’s Drive in the Kline’s Farm area expressed concern over the condition of their heavily traveled road. Rachel Hill of Kline’s Drive said the road has not been touched for years.

“It is not a long road but it is used as a thoroughfare. It is like driving on a washboard,” she said.

Hill said with better roads people will want to build in the area,

Migdalia Manny and Amanda Rothgeb said their road and other roads are in such poor condition that they are not driveable in sections.

Anthony Monaco of Country Club Drive said, “We need a plan in place. It is ludicrous the condition the roads are in. People traveling to the Country Club just shake there heads.”

Some motorists drive over his lawn to avoid potholes, Monaco said.

Other problem areas are Mount Everett Road and West Montrose Street.

Township officials recently had the Trumbull County Engineer’s Office evaluate the condition of the 61 miles of roadway in the township and rank the township roads from worst to best. The engineer’s office recommended which roads should be chip-and-sealed and which should be paved.

Trustee Jodi Stoyak said the engineer’s office estimated cost of paving at $150,000 per mile for 18-foot-wide roads and $200,000 per mile for 24-foot-wide roads.

Stoyak said a current 1.25-mill levy passed in 2013 that generates $240,000 annually, and took three attempts on the ballot before voters passed it. She said with an additional 1.25-mill levy passed in November, the township could have $480,000 annually for roads.

“The roads are a tough area to maintain without funds. We are not the only community suffering because of not enough funds,” she said.

She said a lot of communities are seeking state Issue 1 funds for roads but need local matching funds. Officials said having levy money would help secure those matching grants and state funds.

Clebone said even if a levy passes, trustees will not have access to any more money until 2019.

“There is no magic solution without any money,” Clebone said.

He said the road department is doing what it can with four full-time and three part-time workers. He said funds cover the employees as well as equipment and maintenance.

Jack Simon of the engineer’s office said Pleasant Valley Road and Naylor Lloyd Road were paved three years ago and were in very poor condition.

“Water is a road’s worst enemy,” he said.