Earlier last year, the Village of Sunbury had applied for an Ohio Public Works Commission Grant to pave North Miller Dive and side streets in the surrounding development.
The estimated $618,000 project, if approved, would have included $331,000 in OPWC grant money; a $170,000 village share; and a $116,000 interest-free OPWC loan.
On December 7, village administrators received a phone call informing them that the $331,000 in the grant request was not available. The village was asked if it would accept a $102,000 grant. Council members approved a motion to reduce the grant match and loan amount by the same percentage as the reduction in the OPWC Grant, if OPWC agreed to the arrangement.
Fast forward to Wednesday, December 21, when it was announced that the OPWC agreed to all reduced project amounts. The $618,000 project is now a $190,000 project, with a $52,480 village match and a $39,800 interest-free loan.
The project now includes micro-sealing North Miller Drive from West Cherry Street to the dead end at Prairie Run; with additional funds being used for completing the parking lot on the former Martindale property at 5 South Columbus Street.
Council members also agreed that prior to the 2016 Ohio Department of Transportation resurfacing of State Route 37 through the village, a 24-inch storm sewer would be installed along Cherry Street from Columbus Street to Evening Street.
New storm-water inlets will be installed at the Columbus and Cherry streets intersection and at Cherry and Evening. A future storm water extension, Phase 2, would add a storm sewer along Columbus Street to intercept existing storm inlets.
Phase 1 would take runoff from the 5 Columbus Street parking lot and also divert storm water from Cherry Street that runs north along North Columbus Street and pools at the bottom of the hill. Phase 2 would address deficiencies in the storm water system that diverts water from the Vernon Street alley, runs across Village Square, and into Prairie Run Creek.
Sunbury Mayor Tommy Hatfield said the existing storm line across the square is deteriorating, but repairing it would cross private property and cost as much as, if not more, than installing the new storm lines on Cherry and Columbus streets.
“The storm line across the square collapses before Evening Street,” Hatfield said. “It works, but there’s no telling how long it will work. We need to come up Columbus Street with a new line to tie it all together, and then the storm sewer route would be within our right-of-way.”
Sunbury Consulting Engineer Wes Hall of CT Consultants said repairing the existing storm sewer or installing a new line along Columbus Street and down Cherry Street would involve similar distances.
“If you repair the old line you would be going through private properties, and bringing equipment in there would be difficult,” Hall said. “You don’t have an easement and there would be a lot of constraints. You have no drainage along that area of Cherry Street, so water runs down Columbus Street. That new pipe would have two inlets at the Cherry and Columbus streets intersection.”
Estimated project costs would be $110,000 for the parking lot; Storm sewer Phase 1 $140,000; and $50,000 for Phase 2.
Council members have also agreed to spend $100,000 repairing sidewalks on both sides of the SR37 East hill.
Repaving that section of roadway through the years has raised the road surface to the top of the curbing, and erosion on the hillsides has narrowed the existing sidewalks, creating hazardous conditions for pedestrians, especially children using it as a route when walking to and from school.
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.