Morrow County’s Assistant engineer Bart Dennison led a town hall meeting Nov. 19, updating county citizens regarding the improvements of the roads during 2015.

The county has collected approximately $400,000 in additional license plate fees that began in January 2015. To date through November 2015, Morrow County has completed 46 miles of full width and spot paving, and 3.5 miles of chip and seal for a total cost of $1.1 million. But a 2-mil levy could accomplish even more.

Dennison noted that many roadways are still distressed with numerous potholes and/or temporary patches. The costs to county residents of the deteriorated, pot-holed pavement includes: auto and vehicle damage, slow emergency personnel response times, frustrated drivers and discouragement to potential homebuyers and potential commercial development.

With that and the population projection of the State of Ohio ranking Morrow County as one of the top six counties, it will put further pressure on our existing road infrastructure, he added.

“Morrow County is the heart of development in central Ohio,” stated Dennison. “The future is coming to Morrow County and we want to be ready.”

Dennison, County Engineer Randy Bush and Commissioners Tom Whiston, Dick Miller and Tom Harden then presented to the handful of people in attendance the proposed 2-mil levy that will be on the Spring ballot.

The passage of this levy will accelerate the paving of existing, distressed pavements and would raise approximately $2.1 million when added to the additional revenue from license plates fees, enacted in January 2015, and the normal paving budget.

Over the course of five years, Dennison said this would be enough to pave approximately 150 miles of county roads (roughly half of existing asphalt pavements). Over a ten-year period, the county could pave approximately 300 miles of county roads, or nearly all of the asphalt pavements.

Engineer Randy Bush asked those in attendance to help get the message out and support the upcoming levy.

“We need to be proactive in making improvements to our roadways,” he urged. The cost of the 2-mil levy will be roughly $70 a year, per $100,000 residential property value, or $5.38 per month, the cost of a meal for lunch.

“The low cost of this 2-mil levy to the taxpayer is far more advantageous than the cost of potential front-end alignment for your car,” Commissioner Tom Whiston commented.

The Engineer’s Office reiterated their desire to be proactive and accountable to the public for the improvements and money spent on county roadway improvements.

LeAnne Gompf is a correspondent with the Morrow County Sentinel and can be reached at [email protected].

By LeAnne Gompf

for the Morrow County Sentinel