Northfield Village -- Ledge Road in Northfield Village will be upgraded with Ohio Public Works Commission money thanks to the city of Akron, which was not able to use money it was awarded for road projects several years ago, according to Northfield Village Engineer Richard Wasosky.

That vaulted Northfield Village to the top of the road project contingency list, he said at the Dec. 14 Council meeting.

The village had previously sought a grant to have Ledge Road paved, which will be done along with Macedonia's portion of the Ledge Road project.

Macedonia would pay 39 percent of the $2 million total cost, or about $780,000, Wasosky said, because Northfield Village's portion of the project involves more work including adding sidewalks on the north side of Ledge Road plus storm sewers.

"There is more earthwork on the Northfield Village side," he said.

Wasosky said the earliest the project could start, by law, would be July of 2017, so it will be delayed until the spring of 2018 so it can be completed in the same construction season, by November of 2018.

In Northfield Village, the project would extend nearly the entire length of Ledge Road -- from the rear of Peppers Market near Route 8 to the village's east corporation limit.

Village leaders decided a zero interest loan would be the most efficient way to pay for their 61-percent share of the $2.075 million project, which would cost the village about $1.264 million, rather than paying it off with a grant. Using the loan method of payment, the village would pay 10 percent up front -- about $126,000 -- and the remaining $1.138 million would be financed at zero percent interest over 30 years, according to Finance Director Tricia Ingrassia.

Wasosky said Mayor Jesse Nehez favors paying for the project with a loan.

"I think we should go with the loan," Councilor James Daugherty said at the Dec. 14 meeting.

No official vote was taken by Council.

Ingrassia said the loan method of payment "would be more prudent for the village because the loan will give us flexibility in addressing other areas of the village in need of road repairs."

"Had the mayor, Council and engineer chosen to accept the grant, the village would have needed to pay about $968,000 up front for the project," she said. "I am in favor of accommodating the requested payment method that the mayor and Council selected."

On Dec. 14, Wasosky said the state needed to know "as soon as possible which option we want to go with."

"We're trying to get it resolved by the end of the year," he said. "We're on the final list as the No. 1 rated road project, so we're not going to lose that [position]."

On Dec. 15, Wasosky confirmed the village had been approved by the Ohio Public Works Commission for the loan method of payment.

While it is technically a zero interest loan for a maximum of 30 years, the village can pay it off as soon as it is able to do so.

"The loans could be paid off at any time with no penalty," Wasosky said.

Another perk of using the loan method of payment is, by law, the village also would get half -- about $93,000 -- of the $185,450 needed for a new traffic signal installation at Route 8 and Ledge road, according to Wasosky. The money would also come from the Ohio Public Works Commission.

If the grant method of payment had been picked, the city would have had to pay the entire cost of the traffic signal installation, Ingrassia said.

Mike Lesko: 330-541-9432

mlesko@recordpub.com

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