LIMA — Nearly seven miles of Lima streets are set to be resurfaced, thanks to Ohio Public Works Commission State Issue 1 funds, Community Development Block Grant funds, and county permissive tax funds. However, one block has been neglected for years, according to a Lima City Council member.
During discussions on this year’s street resurfacing program, slated to cover 26 street portions at a cost of $1.15 million, 3rd Ward Councilman Jesse Lowe II requested that Public Works Director Howard Elstro add the 500 block of West Pennsylvania Avenue to the list, a block Lowe said he has requested resurfacing for the past seven years. Located between Washington and McDonel streets, the block houses only one residence but is also a rear entryway for several residences on neighboring West Wayne Street.
“Every resident of the city needs to be treated equally when it comes to street paving,” Lowe said. “They pay taxes like everyone else. I am so tired of certain neighborhoods getting better privileges over other neighborhoods.”
Speaking at the council meeting, Elstro said that the block could not be added, given the funds available. The streets included in the program were chosen after consideration by city engineers, who drove throughout the city to inspect street surfaces. The portions chosen, along with several others, are a higher priority than Pennsylvania Avenue, according to Elstro.
“As I’ve maintained, Pennsylvania is just like any other alley that we have,” he said. “We have programs where, if people want their alleys paved, they can be done by way of assessment. The city would pick up the cost of the labor, so it is split. We have provided estimates to the 20-plus properties that are served by that. What could be done, if we had funds, are the other 20 streets that we have put on the alternate list, which we don’t have funds for. That represents another three to four miles of paving that we need.”
Lowe countered by saying that that roadway is a named street and, despite its size and condition, should be treated as such.
“There is no reason why they can’t blacktop one block of a city street,” he said.
This year’s resurfacing project has a completion deadline of Oct. 29.