Candid With Camera – Part IV

I got quite a bit of paperwork from Chuck that day. Paperwork, with a lot of large numbers. Those large numbers are costs. Which were followed by small numbers, which was money that he could spend. Not a good pairing at all.

I got to see the Rehab Project plan for ’09-’10. Twenty-three streets/roads in the City of Lorain scheduled for work, ranging from replacement, resurfacing and curb replacement, to rehab with ramps and curbs and more. The total cost for that work is a little over $4.9 million. The money coming in from OPWC Grants and Loans and Revolving Loans, Permissive and Gas Taxes, Storm Utility Funds, and SIB Loans is such that the $4.9 million needs to be whittled down to roughly $2.2 million.

“What street to you tear out of there? What street do you take out? I told you to take a look at (Winger and W. 38th) last night.” I did, and had pictures up previously. 38th, between Winger and Cambridge looks like something from a war zone in the Middle East. (I had mistakenly gone to 38th between Cambridge and Miami first. They were beautiful.)

“I think we paved (W. 38th and 39th last year) last year. We (also) did (Winger). We can still do that. There are some streets in here that we did. We can do more with more, but I’m going to try and do it differently.

“Look at Reid Avenue right now. Look what it costs. ($721,337.50) That’s one street. That’s one year’s $15 license plate fees. That’s one year! We’re looking at this NOW.”

We strayed from our discussion a bit, as something came up in the conversation. Looking over the paperwork, Chuck mentioned the compost he’s working on.

“That took a long time for me to get through. Used to be we’d take the leaves, have to take’em to BFI, bring’em back… Now, we just put’em in the back, we grind’em… (we) don’t make a lot of money, but I’m saving the disposal fees, the hauling fees, and we’re selling the compost for cheap. It’s really a pretty good product. Pandy’s bought us out last year.”

Pointing to a list, “We call these crack-n-fills. We blow everything out, put the asphalt in, and then come back and seal it and pat it.” Chuck rattled off over a dozen streets from memory, streets that needed to be blown out. “Then we’ll try to crackfill Erie and Broadway. We have what we call a ‘heat lance.’ What people say we don’t do, we do do. Rita was done that way. If you were there yesterday and saw Winger, Rita was done that way. We took Rita and blew all Rita out. It’s a heat lance. (The crew) has to wear (full body covering) because the stones will burn you. The lance heats it up. It blows out the cracks and dries it, it dries the cracks. With concrete, we have to put some asphalt in it (top it with concrete) and then we’ll come back and crackseal it. The streets we do hold out. And we get 5-6 years out of them. We do do that. We just don’t do it everywhere. And if (some folks) don’t see it done on their street, we just don’t do it.

“Can I do that now? Yea! But can I do it in April? No. We know how to patch a hole. It takes time. There’s 579 lane miles out there. I’m trying to patch what I can patch and get people through the streets so these people don’t damage their cars. And then we sit there and try to evaluate what we can save. We know what calls we’re getting. We know where our bad spots are. And we also know what’s beyond our repair. West 38th and 39th Street is beyond what we can do there. We know that.”

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11 thoughts on “Candid With Camera – Part IV

  1. Going through the audio, there’s something Chuck mentioned that must’ve been missed while I changed memory cards: State money gets divvied up between the cities fairly equally, with them getting the same amount of money. However, a number of the cities in the southern parts of Ohio don’t have to worry about the amount of snow removal and salting that northern cities like Lorain, Cleveland, etc. have to. Some cities, like Amherst, have fewer lane miles to contend with, so the money goes a lot farther in that case, too. So, they are able to use their money toward for other road projects.

    Wanted to pass that along.

  2. Henrey,
    What you just stated was somewhat confusing. If all cities get about the same amount of money per year from the state, that would indicate that Amherst and Lorain get about the same amount?

    While cities in southern Ohio do not have the exact same exposure or weather conditions that Lorain has, there is no excuse why our city cannot provide the basic services that other communities have to. While we can say Lorain has snow, so does Elyria, North Ridgeville, and all of the rest of our neighbors. Lorain is not in this isolated little space on some island all by itself.

    If the mayor or a department head from say Avon or Elyria stood up and said the reason why he/ she can’t/ couldn’t do their job is because the State of Ohio doesn’t give us enough money sounds like another discussion that has been tossed around.

    “The reason why I cannot go to work is because my car don’t have no gas and my welfare check don’t come for another two weeks”.

    I wonder if our city is “out of gas”?

  3. That’s not what I said Brian, and it wasn’t an excuse that Chuck was throwing out, either. What he was saying was that communities south of us, i.e. Columbus, and others that don’t get near the snow that we get, are able to use those funds for other than snow removal, salt, etc., and as a result of that, their roads don’t experience the freeze/thaw cycle that our roads are prone to. From what I’ve seen on the forum and in the papers, Elyria is having some serious issues with citizens wanting reimbursement due to vehicles being damaged by potholes.

    Also, Amherst has fewer lane miles, correct? So their money goes much farther because they don’t have to plow that many, and their salt usage would be WAY down.

    I’m betting you haven’t been by Chuck’s for that cup of coffee, have you?

  4. The coffe natzi siad to me today, “NO COFFEE FOR YOU, YOU BEEN HERE FOOR HOURS”. Well actually, the doctor told me no more stimulants, no smokes, now the cofee, what could be next?

    OH NO, please don’t tell me…

    The question that I was posing is a “are we comparing apples to apples” sort of thing. Sure Amherst is samller and has less lane miles, but it sounds like you are saying they get the exact same amount from the state.

    As far as being noth in ohio and being south, again, I do not see a ton of difference. We get snow, so do a lot of cities east of Cleveland that wished that they gat only twice as much snow as we get.

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