Delaware's streets are slowly crumbling, and money to fix them is scarce.

Delaware's streets are slowly crumbling, and money to fix them is scarce.

The city has spent an average of $421,000 each of the past 10 years on resurfacing. At that rate, it would take 50 years to resurface each street once, director of engineering services Bill Ferrigno told city council on Feb. 14. Ferrigno said the city should be spending between $1.2-million to $1.4-million on annual resurfacing.

Ferrigno said petroleum and fuel increases have increased resurfacing costs. The cost to resurface a road has increased by 93 percent, he said, from 46 cents per square foot in 2001 to 89 cents in 2011.

"We are unable to maintain the integrity of those pavements," Ferrigno said.

Ferrigno compared road repair to a leaky roof. Untouched streets would need base repairs instead of just repairs to the top portions. "(If) you don't take care of the top surface, your cost goes higher and higher," he said.

Ferrigno told ThisWeek the city needs to pave arterial and collector streets first. They include Pennsylvania Avenue, Sandusky Street and Executive Boulevard.

He said funding includes:

Ohio Department of Transportation paying to pave state and U.S. highways about every 10 years. The city pays 20 percent of the cost. `

An average of $450,000 per year from the state from license fees and gasoline taxes.

Local Transportation Improvement Project matching grants from the Ohio Public Works Commission for several road projects. The Delaware County engineer provides the city up to $50,000 for those projects.

Ferrigno suggested funding strategies including:

A front footage pavement maintenance assessment, similar to that paid by homeowners for sidewalks.

Dedicating a percentage of funds in the capital improvement program specifically for transportation.

Assigning Community Development Block Grant funds strictly for roadway and sidewalk improvements in areas with a low median income.

Limiting financial support to New Community Authority areas, Ferrigno said. Those areas pay an additional property tax assessment. The city has two such areas: near the intersection of Cheshire Road and Glenn Parkway, and near the intersection of Glenn Parkway and U.S. route 36.

Council member Carolyn Riggle said she doesn't think the city could pass a levy. Chris Jones, council member for the 1st ward, agreed.

"Going to the citizens with a levy increase is not going to happen," Jones said, calling transportation funding a serious problem.

Voters supported a 0.15-percent income tax to build the community recreation center in 2008 and also passed a 0.3-percent income tax increase for firefighting services.

Public works director Tim Browning requested $115,000 for the purchase of a self-powered milling head. Since 1991, the local road network has increased by about 40 percent, Browning said.

"It's challenging to keep up with the road demands," Browning told ThisWeek.

Council will consider the issue after March 15, when members hear more details about the state budget.

Browning told the council he respected waiting to hear from the state, but he said the problem "will not go away, no matter what the state does."

Also during the meeting, Browning said that the city has exceeded its road salt costs by $31,000. The 2011 projected cost was for $100,000. The city has spent $131,000.