Tri-Village News

Marble Cliff considers roundabout, surprise cash

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

The village of Marble Cliff has received a financial windfall.

Fiscal Officer Cindy McKay reported during Village Council's Monday, Oct. 15, meeting that the village has received $649,000 in estate tax revenue.

Mayor Kent Studebaker said with the windfall, village officials need to "sit back, take a deep breath" and consider whether there are projects or expenditures Marble Cliff has been putting off "waiting for the sun to shine" that potentially now could be completed.

"I also don't want the village to go on a wild spending spree," he said.

In general, Marble Cliff's tax revenues have been improving, Studebaker said.

With that factor and the estate tax revenue, the village's ending balance for 2012 and beginning balance for 2013 should be "significantly different" than originally anticipated, he said.

The estate tax will be eliminated in Ohio after Jan. 1.

Also at this week's meeting, Village Engineer Louis McFarland recommended creating a roundabout or traffic circle as the best option to address concerns about the intersection of Third Avenue and Cambridge Boulevard.

Village leaders have expressed concern about the efficiency of the intersection with its current traffic signal.

If no one else is at the intersection, a motorist stopped at a red light sometimes must wait a relatively long time before the light changes, McFarland said.

Another concern is speeding motorists.

While the roundabout option would best meet the village's efficiency and regulatory issues and could help address the speeding issue, it also would be the most expensive solution, McFarland said.

The village has applied for an Ohio Public Works Commission grant to help fund street and sewer repairs on Third Avenue, and the roundabout could be incorporated into that project, he said.

If the grant were approved, there would be about a $20,000 overlap, meaning the village likely would have to pay about $40,000 to $50,000 of the approximate $70,000 cost of creating a roundabout, McFarland said.

Some on council questioned whether it would be the right time for the village to spend so much money for a roundabout.

The second-best option, and the least expensive, would be to create a two-way stop at the intersection by removing the traffic signal and placing two stop signs on Third Avenue, McFarland said.

This option would meet all of the village's regulatory needs and Marble Cliff no longer would have to maintain and pay the electric bill for the traffic signal, he said.

Other potential options are:

* Keeping the traffic signal at Third and Cambridge in place.

There is not enough traffic at the intersection to warrant the signal and the traffic light is not efficient for motorists, McFarland said.

* Removing the traffic signal and installing a four-way stop with stop signs.

"We still don't meet the traffic warrants for all-the-way stop control," he said.

* Modifying the traffic signal to "rest in red," in which the signal stays red until a motion sensor detects an approaching vehicle. If the vehicle is speeding, the signal will remain red, forcing the motorist to stop. If the driver is not speeding, the light will turn green.

Council is expected to continue its discussion of the intersection issue at its next meeting.

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