Bricks, sewer project discussion in Middleport

By Erin Perkins -

MIDDLEPORT — The Middleport Village Council recently held a special meeting for the public regarding the sewer project.

Village Administrator Joe Woodall addressed the residents in attendance informing them of the streets that will be disturbed by the sewer project in the upcoming 16 to 17 months beginning on July 1.

The project is nearing the end of phase one, Woodall commented it has been a hassle dealing with the combined sewage and basements, but after the completion of this project it will no longer be a problem in the village.

Woodall outlined the amounts of loan forgiveness and grant money the village was awarded for this project. For phase one, the Ohio EPA Principal Forgiveness is $2,312,351 and for phase two Ohio EPA Principal Forgiveness is $1,476,001, United States Army Corps of Engineers grant is worth $1,075,000, and the Ohio Public Works Commission grant is worth $500,000.

Woodall opened the floor to residents to ask questions regarding the upcoming phase two of the project and the ending of phase one.

One resident was concerned about her business, Tuckerman’s on Lincoln, being affected by the construction work and wanted to be sure of when work would be done on her business’ street. Woodall informed her it should be in fall around September or October, but he will be attending a construction meeting regarding phase two in July and will be able to give her a more precise date.

Another resident questioned which parts of Main Street would be replaced with the original brick. Woodall explained Main Street would be brick up to Fifth Street, but from Fifth Street to Seventh Street would be asphalt.

Woodall stated, “This project ran into a lot of unforeseen things that came up, like with any project you’re going to have things that just get in your way, things that are unforeseen…one thing that was a big issue was the soil condition…they cut trenches wider than what they had to and that does constitute a change order, they have to get paid for the amount of trench they have to cut and the amount of brick they have to cut. The contingencies on this project were very cognitive.

Due to the width of the trench they had to cut and the amount they had to disturb on those roads between Fifth and Seventh, they asked for a change order, an additional $270,000, which we didn’t have in contingencies, so therefore, affordability and making that call, the mayor and I, it was just financially sound we couldn’t do it, there was no way to put those bricks back between Fifth and Seventh.”

Several residents at the meeting were not pleased to hear all of Main Street would not be brick as originally planned. One resident suggested the Middleport Village Council create a Facebook page to keep the residents informed of village issues and changes during village projects. Council Member Brian Conde mentioned the council does have a website where the minutes from council meetings are posted, Conde said minutes have been posted up to the April 9th meeting. He and fellow council members urged residents to attend the council meetings themselves and stay up to date on the village’s current projects.

Commissioner Randy Smith questioned why the bond the contractors were required to carry was not executed and instead allowing the change orders to occur. He also asked why residents’ wishes were not taken into consideration before the changes to the original plan were made.

Woodall explained not only the contractors, but the village had to do change orders during phase one of the project. He said the decision to pave Fifth Street to Seventh Street with asphalt was a financially sound decision for the village.

Woodall said he will be contacting the Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance (DEFA) about the contingencies of the project and will address the issue at the next regularly scheduled council meeting.

Woodall told residents if they wish to speak with him further about the sewer project or any other issues they may have, they are welcome to set up a meeting with him.

Mayor Sandy Iannarelli explained to the residents the bricks that are not being used on Main Street will be used for different community projects.

The Middleport Village Council regularly scheduled meeting is set for Monday, June 11, 7 p.m. at the Middleport Village Offices.

By Erin Perkins

Erin Perkins is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.

Erin Perkins is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.