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.”