In addition to a bond issue and accompanying tax levies the Poland school district is asking voters to approve, voters in the village are being asked to approve a five-year, 2-mill levy for road repairs.
The new levy would generate $114,566 annually and would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $70 per year. Funds would be used exclusively for repaving streets, a need council members have repeatedly stressed in light of back-to-back brutal winters, increased road maintenance costs paired with depleting revenue and years without a resurfacing program.
“I know we need it,” council member Linda Srnec said at a recent special meeting to get community input about street repairs.
“It’s a question of do the residents want it? If not, that’s a statement to us to keep filling in potholes.”
If the levy is approved, the village likely would be able to pave about a mile of road each year, given the steep cost of asphalt. The cost of paving 1 mile of road is about $100,000. Council has indicated it likely would seek a renewal of the levy so it could get into the ballpark of repaving all 15 miles of roads the village maintains.
Council also has pursued grant funding for resurfacing projects. The village has applied for an Ohio Public Works Commission grant to resurface part of Sheridan Road next year. Sheridan was ranked near the top of a priority list compiled based on an engineering study of the village’s roads.
That study also found, according to an engineer with MS Consultants, that roughly 70 percent of the village’s 51 roads need to be repaved in the next four years.
The village will find out later this month if it will get funding for the Sheridan project, which would cover 39 percent of the estimated $74,000 cost.
Other roads that have been identified as high priority for resurfacing are College Street, Hamilton and Michigan avenues, and Island and Venloe drives.
Currently, funds for the road department primarily come from license-plate tax revenue; the village does not have a road levy.
The village operates with a budget of roughly $1 million.
Originally published by the Youngstown Vindicator and written by Jordyn Grzelewski.