Springwood/Natalie road project cost increases

Possible water issues add more than $300,000 to pave the roads

KEN LAHMERS Correspondent

NORTHFIELD CENTER – Suspected water issues in certain spots under Springwood Road and Natalie Boulevard have led to a substantial increase in the cost of reconstruction, forcing Northfield Center and Sagamore Hills townships to set aside additional money.

Tri-Mor Corp. was awarded a $733,421 contract to do the work, with Northfield Center slated to pay $312,987, Sagamore Hills $53,723 and an Ohio Public Works Commission grant accounting for $366,710.

Northfield Center Township Administrator Steve Wright explained compaction of the road surface is such that simply placing asphalt will leave the townships open to additional repairs within a short period of time.

So officials determined an additional $321,075 is needed to pave the roads with 8 inches of concrete, plus do undercuts and add finger drains, to extend life and cut down on frequent repairs which would have been necessary if asphalt was used.

That means Northfield Center is now responsible for $557,515, Sagamore Hills for $96,231 and the state grant for $400,750.

Northfield Center trustees discussed the project and the added financial burden at a special meeting June 22, and approved the additional cost June 24. Consultants suggested a concrete surface would last longer and provide “a more consistent thickness.”

Trustee Russ Mazzola suggested completing the project as originally planned, then seeking another grant to upgrade the roads later. Jeff Snell, an attorney representing Sagamore Hills Township, said there could be a risk the townships wouldn’t get the additional state funds.

A Tri-Mor spokesman said once the concrete is poured, the roads must cure for about five days with no traffic allowed on them, so each lane will be paved separately. He added the project should be completed by Aug. 1.

The road reconstruction follows Grade Line Inc.’s recent installation of a fire waterline on Natalie Boulevard, which amounted to $308,218. Northfield Center paid nearly half and Sagamore Hills and the North Hills Water District split the remainder.


After a second public hearing took place, at which nobody spoke, trustees approved increasing the permissive motor vehicle license registration fee by $5 to $25. The increase would add about $36,000 (from an estimated 7,000 registrations) to the $20,000 currently received.

Permissive fees revenue is used by taxing districts for planning, constructing, improving, maintaining and repairing public roads and for maintaining and repairing bridges.

Trustees approved the alternative tax budget for 2021. It must be submitted to the Summit County fiscal office by July 20. Several levies for roads and bridges, police protection and fire-EMS services are estimated to bring in $2.03 million from a total of 17.51 mills.

Three purchase orders were OK’d. One for $3,500 is with Nick’s Asphalt Sealing for installation of a concrete pad at the proposed Beacon Hills Park pavilion, one for $1,000 is for the township’s annual membership in the Tinker’s Creek Watershed Partners, and the third for $3,650 is with Southeastern Equipment for rental of vehicles to regrade the service facility yard in preparation for potential construction of a new safety building.

The concrete pad and pavilion are part of a $114,885 Ohio NatureWorks grant the township received for park improvements. Trustee Rich Reville said grindings have been put down at the park, and Crestwood Park’s playground equipment has been moved there.

Rick Patz of the township’s recreation committee reported a security camera has been installed, and officials are seeking quotes from firms to stripe the tennis/pickleball and basketball courts.

Wright reported township operations have not been significantly impeded by the coronavirus pandemic. Reville said he has not heard of any complaints from residents about operational procedures during the pandemic.

It was announced township facilities will remain closed to the public through July, but staff will continue to be available during normal working hours to address resident concerns via phone and email. Residents can make appointments for in-person discussions, and must wear masks while in township facilities.

Trustees and other township meetings will continue to be held remotely. Wright said revisions to Ohio’s open meetings law allowing remote sessions, which were made in response to COVID-19, remain in effect through December.

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