Commissioners chip in for repairs to washed-out Hibbetts Mill Road

LISBON – Damage done by heavy summer rains on Hibbetts Mill Road in Yellow Creek Township will soon get some long-term repairs, thanks to money from the Ohio Public Works Commission and Columbiana County commissioners.

Yellow Creek Trustee Kenny Biacco applied for a grant through the OPWC, which agreed to give the township $17,600 to make needed repairs to the roadway and replace a culvert under the road.

County commissioners voted Wednesday to give Yellow Creek Township $2,259, the remaining 10 percent of the project. Yellow Creek needed that 10 percent match to secure the OPWC funds.

Biacco said the township is thankful to both county Engineer Bert Dawson and commissioners as well as the OPWC, all of whom helped them with the project.

“We’re really happy,” Biacco said Wednesday night after getting the news from the commissioners earlier in the day. “We couldn’t start this until we have the 10 percent.”

Heavy rains on July 10 and Aug. 8 both created damage to the blacktop on the road. Biacco said one of the rains produced nine inches of water, which washed out about 400 feet of the road. Trustees attempted to make some temporary repairs, but did not have the money to fix the road right so it can hold up for the long term.

Unfortunately, the road is also a bus route for Wellsville schools.

“If the road would have to be closed, Wellsville buses would have to add an extra 16 miles a day to their route,” Biacco said. “Those poor kids would have to ride all those extra miles.”

The project includes tearing up the roadway and putting in a new 50-foot culvert pipe, which is three feet in diameter, which should be better able to handle large amounts of water in the future. Then the road will be repaved with 400 feet of blacktop, two inches thick.

Biacco said he submitted the project to OPWC with four bids the trustees obtained from companies wanting to do the repairs. The bid was given to Stan Cunningham Excavating of Fife Coal Road, Wellsville. Biacco said he would like to see the project started by Nov. 1, if not sooner.

Commissioners were in agreement with the suggestion made by Chairman Mike Halleck to use some of the casino money the county has received this year for the project, even though it was noted it could create a precedent.

Halleck noted it is a small amount of money being requested and the funds are to be used at the commissioners’ discretion.

“It affects many people down there, especially the Wellsville schools,” Commissioner Jim Hoppel added.