September 1, 2014

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North Ridgeville Council OKs easements to pave way for road widening

NORTH RIDGEVILLE — City Council approved legislation Monday to authorize about $650,000 to pay for easements through residential and business properties needed to widen Lear-Nagle Road between Lorain and Center Ridge roads.

Councilman Terrance Keenan, R-1st Ward, cast the dissenting vote in the 6-1 decision.

Keenan said he supports the improvements but believes he should honor residents’ wishes following the defeat of a proposed 0.86-mill bond issue in May that would have allowed the city to borrow up to $8 million to cover its 12.5 percent share of the roughly $67 million widening of both Lear-Nagle and Center Ridge roads.

The issue was rejected, 2,179 to 2,036.

“It was close, but we asked voters and they said no, and it’s hard to vote ‘yes’ in the hope the public will vote ‘yes’ again,” Keenan said.

Saying he appreciated Keenan’s viewpoint, Mayor David Gillock said he felt reasonably sure people would say yes to a measure that costs them only $30.10 a year for 20 years for owners of homes valued at $100,000.

The Lear-Nagle work is projected to cost about $13 million while the Center Ridge widening is budgeted at about $54 million. State and federal money would pay the bulk of the projected $67 million price tag for both roads.

To date, 21 offers have been made to buy right-of-way property on Lear-Nagle Road, Gillock said. Eight have been acquired. The biggest price tag for a right-of-way deal so far has been $6,000, the mayor said.

Some 90 parcels are involved in the right-of-way situation, Gillock said.

Some easements are needed to relocate utilities, while others would provide sufficient room for construction work to take place.

The city looks to be reimbursed 50 percent for acquisition costs on Lear-Nagle by the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency.

While both projects call for lanes to be added to each road, the Center Ridge widening is much larger in scope, calling for a three- to five-lane expansion along 2.3 miles between Stoney Ridge and Lear-Nagle roads. The work would require acquisition of 38 feet on the south side of Center Ridge through the purchase of 20 residences and businesses.

City officials have indicated the bond issue most likely will reappear on the November ballot. Construction bids are not expected to go out on either road project before 2016.

Even if voters reject the bond issue a second time, the city still has time to consider other ways to come up with funding, including borrowing money from the state or re-configuring the city’s street levy, Gillock said.

“Somehow, we’ll get it done,” he said.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.

  • John Q. Taxpayer

    It’s to bad Gillock can’t hear the people. He’s the one that wants to widen center ridge not the community. Maybe we could rename it Gillock Blvd.

    • reallyoldfarts

      Nope. I own my house on Center Ridge, north side. I DO want this widening. Time to enter the 20th century- even if it’s the 21st.

      • Otter

        Just guessing, you are not one of the people who will loose their home, business, or both?

  • John Q. Taxpayer

    When you try and pull out against 3 lanes of traffic and get T-Boned don’t start crying about all the traffic. All Ridgeville ever does is drive business’ out. Unless you call tattoo parlors, nail salons, and tanning spas business’s. The business’s that have built the city are being pushed out. The majority of the people I’ve talked to do not want it. The north side isn’t going to change much it is the south side that will have traffic drive 20 feet from there front door. To have the road and then a 9 foot buffer area and then a bike path makes no sense and a sidewalk only on the north side is ridiculous., don’t people on the south side walk or do they have to risk being hit by all the bike traffic will have?