Perry Township Trustees hear complaints of residents

PERRY TOWNSHIP–A roomful of constituents showed up Monday night, with trustees hearing from residents complaining about drainage problems on Stewart Road, a ditch needing cleaned out on Heritage Lane and Allen Drive drastically needing repaved.

“It’s horrible,” one Allen Drive resident said.

Trustee Jim Armeni said the trustees want to repave Allen and Cliff this year and he told the residents that’s what they intend to do, they just have to get with the Columbiana County engineer’s office on the cost. He apologized to the residents for having to come to a meeting and told them those two streets were on the list they want to do this year.

“We just wanted to get some answers,” one resident said, noting that they weren’t sure from what they were reading about the meetings.

The trustees at one point earlier in the year or late last year did say they wouldn’t be doing any paving this year, then Armeni brought up the issue of paving at another meeting and the trustees talked about probable costs and a need to look at their funding. No action was taken regarding paving projects during the meeting since they don’t know yet what the cost will be.

Fiscal Officer Susan Johnston said they’re definitely joining the city of Salem project for $15,000 for Buckeye Circle and 14th Street this year. Road Supervisor Darreck Farrell said he wants to do Cliff and Allen and also Countryside, which would be 1.1 miles. He had an estimate of $125,000 per mile, but that’s not a firm number. He also mentioned some other streets in the area of Apple, Marion and Plymouth Place, measuring 1.01 miles and the area of Old Coach Lane, Ansley Way and Hearthside at 1.06 miles. With everything, he said that would be 3.17 miles, not including Buckeye Circle and 14th.

Farrell also talked to trustees about the need for a new large truck at a cost of an estimated $140,000, saying he needs to put the order in by June 1 to get the truck delivered sometime in November. He said one of the current large trucks in the fleet is 18 years old. Armeni asked if the township had ever considered financing through a loan, saying it’s not bad debt. There was also discussion about a lease program and when the money for the truck would be needed.

“How much funds to we have available to do those roads and the truck?” Trustee Don Rudibaugh asked.

Armeni commented that most of the money for roads was tied up in a CD and that they might want to look at breaking the CD and taking it out early. Rudibaugh said he checked with the bank and it would cost them $6,000 in interest. When asked after the meeting about the CD, which is a certificate of deposit, Johnston said the trustees reinvested the $1 million CD on Dec. 31 for another year. She said the money comes from the different accounts that support the road department and the fire department. She said no police operating budget money is in the CD. A question had been raised about that at a previous meeting.

Armeni also asked if the township had a maintenance rotation plan for vehicles and equipment, but Trustee Chair Cliff Mix said they’ve always just followed the needs of the department.

The trustees will have another meeting before June 1, but haven’t determined when it will be scheduled since their next meeting would fall on Memorial Day and they can’t meet then.

As for the drainage issue, Stewart Road resident John Volio showed photographs and did most of the talking for the group, noting that he’s spent $1,000 to keep the water from his house by installing a catch basin, but there’s still an issue. He said they’re getting all the water from Allen and also off the bypass and it’s causing a lot of erosion. Anytime it rains, they’re getting a lot of water. One woman in the audience said the smell is horrible and another said they shouldn’t have to keep putting money into the problem themselves.

Farrell suggested having the county engineer’s office come up and do a water study to see what can be done. Mix said that’s all the township can do at this time. Farrell was also going to check on the ditch on Heritage Lane.

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