Troy’s utility project faces rising costs


By Sam Wildow

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TROY — The Troy City Council on Monday approved increasing the authorized costs for its West Main Street Duct Bank Project after the city has experienced receiving no bids or considerably higher than anticipated bids on other projects.

The council previously authorized the project — which includes the burying of overhead utilities in a duct bank along West Main Street — at a cost not to exceed $700,000. On Monday, the council approved increasing that “not to exceed” amount to $1 million following recommendations from the city’s consultant on the project. Currently, the project is estimated to cost approximately $920,000, but bids are expected to come on Wednesday.

“With the multitude of factors currently driving up the costs of materials and construction, the consultant for this project has recommended that council increase the project authorization so that a contract can be awarded following the March 9 bid opening, assuming there is an acceptable bid,” said council member Bobby Phillips, who is also the chairman of the Streets and Sidewalks Committee.

According to the staff report provided to the Streets and Sidewalks Committee, the factors increasing those project costs include a lack of workforce, escalating transportation costs, increased costs of materials, and supply chain issues.

“This project involves critical utility work that must be done ahead of the West Main Street Corridor Improvements Project, which needs to stay on schedule based on the state and federal funding the city is to receive to help fund the project,” Phillips said.

The costs are increasing as the city has previously had trouble finding contractors to submit bids due to rising inflation, such as last month when the city did not receive any bids for its West Main Street traffic signal poles project.

Also on Monday, the council gave preliminary consent to the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to repave part of State Route 55 during the state fiscal year 2023, which would be between July 2022 and June 2023. The resurfacing project will be from Peters Avenue/Grant Street to Franklin Street on State Route 55.

“The city will be required to pay a portion of the project, currently estimated at $98,000 of an approximately $500,000 project,” said Phillips. “Based on the final bid by ODOT, the city’s cost could be adjusted.”

The council also authorized participating in the governance structure of the OneOhio memorandum of understanding (MOU) and appointed Troy Fire Chief Matthew Simmons to the OneOhio Recovery Foundation, Inc. Board. The OneOhio MOU dictates how settlement money will be distributed to municipalities and other entities from opioid litigation.

“(Settlement) proceeds are forthcoming, and the state has provided a memorandum of understanding for the parties to execute regarding distribution and use of the funds and other related issues,” said council member William Rozell, who is also the chairman of the Community Partnerships Committee. “In addition, regions are set up within the state and regional representatives are to be named to help provide governance. There is concurrence within the Miami County cities for Fire Chief Simmons to be a representative.”

Later, the council accepted the recommendation of the Assessment Equalization Board (AEB) to approve a revised estimated assessment for the South Stanfield Project. The estimated assessments are for the sidewalk and shared use path portion of the reconstruction project.

Next, the council accepted property of 130½ Ash St. from the Lincoln Community Center Assoc., Inc. This will be replatted into a single lot with the Lincoln Community Center property at 110 Ash St., under the ownership of the city. Rozell said the expectation is that this parcel of 0.170 acres will be part of the area where a playground and storage shed could be established, which will be subject to the approval of a future DR-O application.

The council also approved vacating an utility easement and a replat between inlots 11308 and 11309, located between 1419 Legacy Court and 1423 Legacy Court at the Heritage Village at the Troy Country Club Subdivision.

The council then held the first reading of an ordinance that would amend the allocation of money received from parking fine violations. Those fines to be split up with 75% of those fines going into the city’s Parking and Downtown Improvement Fund and 25% of those fines going into the city’s Parking Meter Fund.

“That revenue is currently totally allocated to the Parking and Downtown Improvement Fund,” said council member Todd Severt, who is also chairman of the Finance Committee. “With the removal of meters and parking lots having no fees, revenues into the Parking Meter Fund are negligible. Changing how the parking violation fines are allocated will provide some revenue to the Parking Meter Fund.” Severt noted that expenses will continue to exceed revenues and a general fund transfer will be required.

President of the Council William Lutz noted later the Finance Committee wanted this item to go to a second reading, so the council did not vote to waive the three-reading rule on this legislation.

Following that, the council approved establishing the full-time position of an assistant golf professional position at the Miami Shores Golf Course at a pay range of approximately $37,367 to approximately $45,336.

“This position will help Miami Shores continue to grow and build on the momentum that is has generated over the last two years, enhance revenue opportunities, and maximize the use of the improvements that council has approved for Miami Shores,” said council member Samuel Pierce, who is also the chairman of the Personnel Committee.

This position was included in the 2022 budget for the Miami Shores Golf Course, and there will be some offset savings with the reduction of part-time or temporary wages, according to the committee report.

Also on Monday, the council held public hearings for two renewal applications to retain land in an agricultural district. The first renewal application was from Ematt Emari Emarc, an Ohio Limited Family Partnership, to retain 83.13 acres on Washington Road in an agricultural district. The second renewal application was from Neal Brothers Inc. to retain two parcels of 105 acres on Experiment Farm Road in an agricultural district.

No one spoke for or against those applications during the public hearings. The council later held the first readings of the resolutions approving those applications. Those resolutions were also assigned to the Community and Economic Development Committee for future consideration.

The next council meeting will be at 7 p.m. on March 21 in council chambers on the second floor of City Hall, 100 S. Market St.

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