Macedonia moving forward with road projects

More than $1 million in work planned

About 1,500 feet of Macedonia's South Bedford Road, just south of Route 82, was repaved in early May as part of the city's $1.3-million road program this year.

MACEDONIA — The city is proceeding with more than $1 million in road work this year, money that cannot be used to shore up city finances during the coronavirus pandemic.

“There’s no other place the money can be utilized for any reason,” said Mayor Nick Molnar.

City Council approved an approximately $1.3 million contract with Cuyahoga Heights-based Specialized Construction Inc. on April 23. This includes repaving five residential roads — Broadmoor, Broadledge, and Ledgeview roads, Navaho Trail and North Chinaberry Circle — for nearly $1.1 million, plus two alternate projects, a section at the north end of South Bedford Road and the drive leading to Windmill Golf Center and the city’s soccer fields on the north side of Route 82, for $214,000.

On May 14, City Council began the process of reducing this year’s budget appropriations by $3.5 million due to projected losses in city income tax revenue related to the pandemic. However, both Molnar and City Engineer Joe Gigliotti said the bulk of the money is funds collected by a 0.25% income tax hike voters approved in 2018 that can only be used for roads.

“So even with what’s going on in society right now, it’s not going to change,” said Molnar. “Those dollars are only for roads. I don’t want the suggestion to be out there that we shouldn’t be spending the money on the roads, we should be using it somewhere else.”

Gigliotti said a 1,500-foot stretch of South Bedford just south of Route 82 was completed over a two-day period during the week of May 4 at a cost of $152,000 and work began on North Chinaberry the following week. He said Thursday That North Chinaberry was largely done, but a top layer of asphalt still needed to be put down, work that was expected to be done within two weeks. Work is expected to begin on the remaining four roads in mid-July, said Gigliotti.

South Bedford and North Chinaberry are resurfacing projects while the other roads will involve a full road replacement, said Gigliotti.

He said the only money not coming from the levy is $62,000 for the golf center and soccer fields drive, which is dedicated funding from the city’s parks and recreation fund. Molnar said the drive will “more than likely” be repaved and he told Council during a work session before the April 23 regular meeting that the drive is in bad condition.

“It’s atrocious at best and I’ve had more complaints about that,” he said. “It’s getting to the point where it’s almost a liability.”

A third alternate project that was considered was repaving the Macedonia Family Recreation Center parking lot, which Gigliotti said would cost an estimated $270,000. Council, however, did not approve funding it.

“We’re looking at our finances in terms of the losses we’re going to have to project here,” Molnar said. “I don’t anticipate the Rec Center getting done.”

Gigliotti said there is also another project that is not part of the annual road program, the repaving of Highland Road from the bridge over the Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks west to South Bedford Road.

“That’s still in place,” he said.

The city has a $219,000 grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission, which the city will match. Gigliotti said the city will pay its portion from its share of the Summit County permissive tax fund, revenue from motor vehicle registration fees that is also earmarked specifically for roads.

Gigliotti said it is uncertain when the project will be done since under the terms of the grant, the city cannot begin seeking bids for it from construction contractors until July 1.

Reporter Jeff Saunders can be reached at 330-541-9431, or @JeffSaunders_RP.