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Malvern Village Council tables ODOT Sidewalk Safety Project agreement

By Thomas Clapper tclapper@the-review.com Published: July 20, 2017 12:00 AM

During its July 17 meeting, Malvern Village Council has decided to table the ordinance which would have allowed Village Administrator Marcus Benson to sign off on the agreement with ODOT and oversee it.

This is a $263,500 Sidewalk Safety Project by ODOT to provide sidewalks and lighting on the south side of Coral Road (CR 81) from the new K-12 school campus to Sandy Creek and pedestrian signals and crosswalks at the intersection of Reed avenue and and State Route 43. ODOT would pay 100 percent of the $263,500, though any overruns of the cost would have to be covered by the village. This project would begin in July 2019.

Despite agreeing to allow this during its July 5 meeting, when it came down to approving the ordinance, Councilwoman Barb Burgess had reservations after Village Solicitor Chad Murdock stated two ways that the Village could end up paying overruns. One such way is that the cost simply exceeds the $263,500 which could potentially happen due to unforseen circumstances such as ground erosion for example. The second way is a contractor claims a delay beyond contractor's control, and any cost changes during that time that exceeds the amount, such as inflation for example, would be up to the village. Murdock stated he saw no problems but it had to be stated as possibilities.

"I think we should look into the cost of maintaining the lights and sidewalks before we move forward with this," said Burgess. "And I don't even know if that area is within the village limits."

Councilwoman Kathy Ritter argued the project would be good for the village and that ODOT applied for the grant in the first place with the knowledge that council supported it.

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Mayor Bob DeLong, who along with Benson, met with ODOT's Greg Gurney and Malvern's Superintendent Scott Bowling previously, said he and Benson were assured that things could be done to prevent any overruns such as cutting the amount of lights for example.

"There are things that can be done to cut the cost if it would be necessary," said DeLong. "I was assured that there are several things that could potentially be done to cut the cost and prevent overruns, though I doubt it would have to come to that."

Unable to make a decision, the ordinance was tabled. Burgess asked to contact Gurney in regards to maintenance costs after the sidewalks, lighting and crosswalks are built. Benson was not at the meeting to voice his opinion.

In other business, council:

HEARD Councilwoman Eunice Thompson request that Superintendent of Village Services Steve Felton and his crew paint the curbs downtown before Dancing on The Bridge. Thompson also mentioned the public has been talking about certain buildings being eyesores in town and wanted the council aware.

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HEARD from citizen Charm Woods about a derelict property on the other side of the street from her home. She stated concerns about the house sitting empty and the risk of something happening. She added that previous solicitor Vincent Slabaugh was going to look into it after a previous council meeting and she hasn't heard anything yet.

"We can look for options and check with our new solicitor Murdock and also Marcus and see what we can find out," said DeLong.

LEARNED all water payments will need to be made and taken to Village Hall as of Aug. 7 and no longer the Water Department. It will be printed on the bill and there will be signs up to direct those who do not heed. Water Plant employee Teri Foster will be moving to Village Hall on July 28.

HEARD the next movie night is this Friday, July 21 at 8:30 p.m. at the stage in Malvern Village Park.

HEARD Village Garage sales are set for July 29, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Cost is $5 per spot and the event is weather permitting. The Village will have some desks for sale with profits going into the general fund.

LEARNED Benson checked the tree at 125 Canton Street and did not see any issues with the tree being moved, however, he was unable to talk to the property owner and he will still need to come to council for approval.

HEARD four council seats and the mayor position will be open.

APPROVED ordinance 14-2017 dissolving the Village Park Board and replacing it with an Adversary Park Board which is how it has been running. There will be no changes in personnel or function.

The next council meeting is set for Monday, Aug. 7, 7 pm.


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