By: Tim Kays
Members of the Bryan City Council hit the 2021 ground running on the evening of January 4. After electing Mary Leatherman Council President and Jim Kozumplik Council Vice-President, the first items on the 2021 agenda were three resolutions to get ready for the upcoming road construction season.
The first item addressed was Resolution #1-2021, a resolution authorizing the Clerk Treasurer to advertise for bids for the project known as ‘2021 Asphalt Program.’
“We’re going to start the year off with a bang and ask to bid three projects,” said City Engineer Brian Wieland. “The first one here is the Asphalt Program. We had $570,000 budgeted and right now I’m estimating it at $470,000.”
“What we’re doing is, we’re going to hit Town Line Road, and get that squared up, and several streets. I don’t want to say downtown, but in the central part of the city. We got a few areas there that are in the 15-or-so year rotation.”
Councilor Judy Yahraus inquired if the Town Line Road project involved, “…removing everything that’s there, or just going over the top of it.”
“All these projects is what’s called a mill-and-fill,” Wieland answered. “We’ll take about two inches out, clean up, level it up a little bit, and then put a brand new surface layer on it. The surface asphalt will be gone.”
“We’ll level it up a little bit, but the curbing stays and everything else. This is not what’s called a full depth, it’s just simply milling and repaving like we do most everywhere else.”
Next up was Resolution #2-2021, a measure authorizing the advertisement for bids for the project known as ‘2021 Pavement Marking Program.’ “Again, this is a yearly thing we do,” Wieland said. “We restripe most city streets. It’s an $80,000 to $100,000 budget.”
Finally, Resolution #3-2021, a resolution authorizing the advertisement for bids for the project known as ‘2021 Parkview Avenue and Belmont Avenue Improvements,’ was brought before the Council.
“What we’re doing here would be two blocks of Parkview,” Wieland said. “It will be basically from Blakeslee to Avenue A, and we’re going to do one block that is left of Belmont that is not done in that neighborhood.”
“This will be a full depth removal. We’re tearing out everything that’s there, adding storm sewer, fixing sanitary if necessary. The waterline has already been replaced on both of these streets.”
“The Parkview street is one that we really need to clean up, because the curb’s pretty bad and the waterline trench is getting pretty rough. We had intended on doing that. If we can’t do projects together budget wise, sometimes I’ll follow up a couple years later. I’ve got $700,000 budgeted in the line item for this; I’m estimating at around $500,000 right now for all three projects.”
“We anticipate bidding February to March, where they can hopefully work. May, June and July if fits in their schedule. I would guess it’d be about a two month project by the time it’s all said and done, but for a couple months I’m going to be everyone’s favorite person because they won’t be able to get to their driveways for a while.”
“So it’s going to be a struggle like it always is, but I think when they’re done, I think they’ll be happy.”
Councilor Betts inquired about the construction time, to which Wieland replied, “You know construction season typically starts in May, so May, June, July. I think we’ll probably try and put an August 1 completion date on it so it’s done before school starts and whatnot. We’ll do what we can, but it’s kind of based on their schedule as well.”
“I was just wondering,” Betts said, “…because I think not just the people are going to be displeased – temporarily displeased – until it’s done and then they’ll be very happy…but during that month of May, especially in the May-June range, that’s going to be right along the Little League park there. Little League parents can be…very enthusiastic.”
“The intersection will be open at Blakeslee and Parkview for the most part,” Wieland assured, “…so they should be able to get around the corner. This will all be west of Blakeslee so it shouldn’t affect them that much other than they may have to drive around the block.”
Under suspended rules of reading, Council approved all three measures without dissent.
Council again suspended the rules of reading and adopted Resolution #4-2021, a measure authorizing Wieland to apply for Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) grants, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), and Small Cities through the Ohio Department of Transportation grants, and others…as necessary.
“Again,” Wieland said, “…this is a yearly thing that we do. We had a meeting in December with Ohio Public Works, and I had applied for three projects and one of them I believe is successful. It would be Brunicardi Way. We’re going to get to put four inches of new asphalt in there for that half mile, and I’ll get I think 41% funding on that.”
“We’ll basically start right there at Best One Tire, and going west to the city limits. I’m very happy about that. That’s a $175,000 grant, so I’m tickled about that.”
“That’ll probably be a July 1 contract, where we sign the contract for that but I’ll probably come in in April and ask you for permission to bid that at that point in time, and get ahead of the game.”
Council then approved the annual committee assignments for year. The assignments for 2021 were…
Budget – Councilors Jim Kozumplik and Rick Hupe; Finance and Audit – Councilors Mary Leatherman and Judy Yahraus; Wage – Councilors John Betts and Hupe; Tax Incentive Review Councilors Hupe and Yahraus, with Mayor Carrie Schlade; Negotiations Team – Councilors Kozumplik and Betts; Revolving Loan Fund – Councilor Leatherman; BIPAC – Councilor Leatherman; Prevailing Wage Coordinators – Brian Wieland and Melanie Kaiser; ADA – Patrick Thorp
Council then moved to set the dates for the Council meetings, and the Christmas holiday for 2021. Council meetings will be held at 5:30 pm on the first and third Mondays of the month, unless changed upon special request.
Proposed meeting date changes are: Monday January 18 (Martin Luther King Day), to Tuesday, January 19; Monday, July 5 Fourth of July (observed for city employees), to Tuesday, July 6; Monday September 6 (Labor Day) to Tuesday September 7; and Monday October 4 (Ready, Set, Relax) to Tuesday October 5. Mayor Schlade added that as Christmas 2021 falls on a Saturday, the city employees will have December 23 and 24 off in observation of Christmas Day, and as well Christmas Eve.
In other actions, Council approved removing Christy Moore from probationary status, and granted her a 50 cent per hour raise.
Police Chief Chris Chapa brought three hiring requests before Council, beginning with Ross Butler. “I am going to hire him as a part-time dispatcher,” Chapa said. “He has just recently graduated Owens Police Academy, and is going to be sitting for his test on the 20th. We would like to get him in and get him in the PD.”
The second position addressed by Chief Chapa was for the Assistant Chief post, which he asked to be filled by Gary Moore. A veteran of the Williams County Sheriff’s Office and the Blakeslee Police Department, Mohre brings over 40 years of law enforcement experience with him. “We’d like to hire Gary as the Assistant Chief, starting to be determined after he passes his physicals for the state,” said Chapa.
The third and final request was to fill the post of BPD Captain. Again, Chapa brought forward another veteran of the Williams County Sheriff’s Office, Greg Ruskey. Like Mohre, his start date would be determined under the condition that he passes his physical testing for the state of Ohio.
Council approved all three requests without dissent.
Council approved a request from Bryan Fire Department Chief Bruce Siders that Christopher Roberts and Nicholas Cooper be elevated to the new state minimum hourly wage of $8.80.
Council agreed to bring Emily Ebaugh on to fill a vacancy on the Park Board, and approved the second term of Dave Batt.
Council approved a request from Mayor Schlade to reappoint her to the Williams County Economic Development Corporation (WEDCO) Board, where she currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the Executive Board.
Council also agreed to the request to reappoint Mari Ivan to continue to serve as the Industrial Representative for the City of Bryan.
Tim can be reached at email@example.com