Sunbury plans roadwork, crosses fingers for state grant
Sunbury Village Council wants to spend $349,000 next year to fix up some of the deteriorated streets in the Town Square area.
Council members Wednesday, Oct. 2, authorized Village Engineer Wes Hall to seek a $149,000 grant and a $50,000 loan from the Ohio Public Works Commission to help pay for the roadwork. Sunbury would pay $150,000 of the project cost and would repay the loan over 20 years.
"I think it's an attractive project," Hall told council members.
Plans call for resurfacing South Vernon Street, between Cherry and Columbus streets, with asphalt. Other repair work would include putting in a new storm sewer to help with drainage problems and installing new concrete curbing. The cost of that portion of the project is estimated to be $200,000.
Expanding the size of parking spaces in front of businesses along East Cherry Street, at the northwest corner of South Vernon, along with new concrete curbing and a new concrete sidewalk would cost about $26,000.
Another $25,000 would be spent on parking-space improvements, a new sidewalk and other related work for a portion of East Granville Street, between Columbus and Vernon streets.
East Granville between Vernon and Morning streets would be resurfaced with asphalt and would see a new storm sewer as well as repairs to the concrete curbs and sidewalks. That would cost an estimated $98,000.
Mayor Tommy Hatfield said his main concern is getting the state money.
Sunbury received about $300,000 from the state, including a $75,000 loan, for road improvements in 2013.
"Historically, odds are against us getting money," Hatfield said. "We've never gotten back-to-back grants."
He said he is encouraged that the village is kicking in a significant amount of money.
"We're putting some money into it," the mayor said. "It's got to help our case."
Also at the Oct. 2 meeting, Chris Wittkop of HR Butler said village officials will need to consider some options in its health coverage for employees now that the Affordable Care Act is beginning to take effect.
Medical Mutual of Ohio provides health coverage for Sunbury; the contract expires Feb. 1. Wittkop said the village should look to renew its contract or find another provider by Jan. 1.
HR Butler works as a broker in finding health coverage for government entities such as Sunbury.
Since the village has fewer than 50 employees, it could decide under the Affordable Care Act not to provide health coverage. Employees could get individual coverage under provisions of that act, with the village possibly helping to subsidize such coverage.
Wittkop said much is still up in the air about health coverage and what the Affordable Care Act provides. Council members decided they should have a special meeting, likely Oct. 30, to further discuss health-care options with Wittkop.
Fall Festival set
The village's annual Fall Festival will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 20 at Freedom Park. Various activities, such as pumpkin-decorating and face-painting, will be featured. The event is held in conjunction with the Sunbury Nazarene Church.