Liberty looks at road levy

LIBERTY — Township trustees are considering a replacement road levy for the November general election ballot to raise additional funds for road paving and other improvements.

At many trustee meetings, residents have raised concerns about the condition of the roads, with potholes and uneven surfaces.

Trustee Chairman Arnie Clebone said at a special meeting Wednesday that trustees have looked at seeking grants and loans for road work, but there needs to be more money generated for the many roads in the township that need work. He said money is also needed for local funds for matching grants.

Seven streets already have been approved for seal coating work this fall at a cost of $101,763.

Trustees had the county engineer’s office inspect all 60 miles of roads and provide a list of those in the worst condition so they could be prioritized. The engineer’s study gave the trustees an estimate of $8 million to fix all the roads.

Road Supervisor Tim Monroe said while chip and sealing roads is not the same as paving, it does help save the road surface.

“Chip and seal is not the answer for everything. It helps save the road until we can generate enough revenue to pave. We need to come up with the best solution for the roads with the revenue we have. We want to get the roads back to where they were,” Monroe said.

Clebone said the township has a 1.25-mill, five-year road levy generating $250,000 annually and costing the owner of a $100,000 house $43 per year. The levy was passed six years ago and expires in 2019.

He said being considered is a 2.25-mill or 2.50-milll, 10-year or more replacement road levy for which the owner of a $100,000 home would pay $90 a year.

Trustees have scheduled a special meeting 6 p.m. July 24 on the road levy and rescheduled their next regular meeting from Monday to 6:30 p.m. July 30. The deadline to get a levy on the November ballot is Aug. 1.

Some of the biggest problem streets include Mount Everett Road and West Montrose Street, which are scheduled to be seal coated this fall. Trustees hope to chip and seal 10 or more roads a year from 2019-2021, depending on funding availability.