Perry Twp. residents bring gripes on roads, wood burner to trustees

PERRY TWP. -Township trustees fielded complaints from a handful of residents Tuesday night, with topics ranging from faulty chip and seal to a neighborhood burning nuisance and questions about yard reseeding.

Neighbors Dan Bowers and Julie Miller, who both live on Johnson Avenue, and Kyle Sanders of Michigan Boulevard addressed trustees concerning the loose aggregate on their roads which contains chunks of stainless steel and glass and the dust being kicked up during the sweeping process to clean up the aggregate.

Apparently the slag used last year didn’t stick to the emulsion during the chip and seal process, leaving sections where the gravel is loose and patches where the gravel stuck to the asphalt. Bowers questioned if there was a way to get the material off where it goes into driveways and into yards.

Trustee Don Kendrick said they hired a street sweeper service to go over the roads, but that sweeper broke down, so the township went out last week with its own small sweeper and he said it was like a dust bowl out there. Another company from Akron has been hired to bring two sweepers out, but the weather hasn’t cooperated.

“We’re sorry that it’s taking so long,” Kendrick said, noting the sweepers were supposed to arrive Tuesday, but were delayed due to the weather.

He explained that three other townships used the same supplier for the slag last year and every place it was used, it has come loose. It was reportedly too soft and didn’t stick to the emulsion. The other townships included Middleton, Knox and West.

Bowers asked if it’s possible it was reclaimed material because of the chunks of steel found everywhere, but Trustee Chairman Cliff Mix said no. In prior years, the township had always used a company out of Warren, but it went out of business, so they had to pick a new slag supplier. Mix said they go by what the county tells them.

“You guys were sold junk. Hopefully you can get some type of money back” Bowers said.

Mix said they’re trying to talk with the other townships about going after the company.

“They need held accountable for that,” Miller said.

The way the chip and seal program works, the Columbiana County Engineer’s Office does the work at no cost to the township and the township or village provides the materials. The township patches the roads to be done before the county does the chip and seal. Bowers said the road wasn’t that bad after the patching, before the chip and seal was done.

Kendrick said he was told by an engineer from the county engineer’s office that the townships affected should go together to meet with legal counsel from the county prosecutor’s office on what steps to take with the company. He called the other townships but hasn’t heard back from any of them.

As for the loose gravel, they’re going to see what the roads are like after sweeping and go from there. Sanders said somebody’s going to get hurt with the way the vehicles travel on the road. Miller also complained about people speeding. She complimented the township, though, on the plowing this past year, saying the road crew did a good job.

In other complaints, West Pine Lake Road resident Mark Wayne talked to trustees about a problem with his neighbor’s outdoor wood burner. He said he knows that’s his only source of heat and he uses it to heat water, but he’s been burning coal in it and it’s a nuisance. He said one of the other neighbors has allergies to sulfide.

“I don’t have a problem with him burning coal, but I don’t think it should be a nuisance to the whole neighborhood,” he said.

Mix said they would see what they can do.

Allen Williams, of Brooklyn Avenue, asked when the yards would be fixed and reseeded in the aftermath of last year’s sewer line extension. Kendrick said the road department was waiting for the weather to break. Williams asked about one area where there’s always water, saying he was concerned there could be leak.

Mix said the line was pressure tested and everything was supposed to be sealed up. He told Williams he’ll contact the Salem Utilities superintendent to check on that and also check about his swimming pool being filled and how it will be handled on the bill.

In other road-related business, the trustees approved a resolution for a letter to go to the Ohio Department of Transportation for Strawser Construction Inc. of Columbus to do a microsurfacing program through state purchasing for $48,486. Township roads to be microsurfaced include Manor Drive, Old Farm Lane, Highland East, Highland West, Highland Avenue and Brookview Drive.

Line striping will be done on Egypt, Painter (the hill only), Chestnut Grove, Stewart and Cider Mill roads and Countryside and Colonial drives.

In fire department business, the trustees approved a purchase of $8,560 for four sets of fire gear, which includes the pants, coat, boots and gloves, and $1,223 for repairs to three air packs which failed a recent test. Fire Chief Bruce Whitcher said he checked the cost for new air packs and it was $5,000 a piece.

He reminded residents that the fire department will hold an all-you-can-eat pancake and sausage breakfast from 7 a.m. to noon Saturday at the north station on North Ellsworth Avenue. The cost is $6 for adults, $4.50 for ages 6-13 and free for ages 5 and under.