June 29, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Road money sought again by Brunswick council

BRUNSWICK — City Council members plan to put a 1.2-mill road levy before Brunswick voters again this spring, promising that all the money collected would go to fund repairs on neighborhood streets.

A 10-year, 1.2-mill levy failed by 189 votes in November, but came closer to passing than longer-term, more costly levies the city had proposed in earlier elections.

At a committee-of-the-whole meeting Monday, Council members discussed the levy with Police Chief Carl DeForest, who is serving as interim city manager.

DeForest encouraged Council to draft legislation that would require the levy money go to fund residential road projects in each of the city’s four wards.

The levy is expected to bring in about $800,000 annually.

The levy that failed in November would have set aside $150,000 for each ward and allocated $200,000 to be used as the city’s share of state and federally funded road projects.

Under the current proposal, the entire $800,000 would go to street repairs in the wards.

City Finance Director Todd Fischer said the city has a few other revenue sources it could tap to come up with matching funds for state road projects.

Fischer said roadways that qualify for state assistance with repairs include Center, Pearl, Grafton, Hadcock Laurel and South Carpenter.

“If all the money is set aside for residential, those roads would be repaired using OPWC (Ohio Public Works Commission) money,” Fischer said.

Councilman Brian Ousley, at large, said he wants residents to understand the city can’t ask for less money and still be able to get a repair project together.

“This is a Band-Aid only,” Ousley said. “Hardly any reconstruction can be done with this money,” he said.

Monday’s committee meeting was the first time the new Council gathered together this year. Councilman Vince Carl, 2nd Ward, was elected unanimously to serve as vice mayor.

The title means Carl runs committee-of-the-whole meetings and steps in when Mayor Ron Falconi is absent.

Councilwoman Pat Hanek, at large, who held the position for the last two years, said she no longer wanted the title.

“I believe we should take turns in leadership,” she said.

“Having been in this position for the last two years, I do not seek it.”

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com.

Loren Genson About Loren Genson

Loren Genson was The Gazette's senior reporter. From August 2012 through September 2015, she covered Brunswick city and state and national government. To contact The Gazette, call the managing editor at (330) 721-4065.