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Toledo street repair plan draws attacks

Collins adds 11 miles to be done after waterline work is finished

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The Collins administration Thursday released a list of nearly 11 more miles of Toledo roadway to be repaved this year — all of which will be done after underground waterlines are replaced — increasing the total in 2014 to just over 50 miles.

That still falls behind last year’s record 61 miles under former Mayor Mike Bell. And the new list is still unsatisfactory to Councilman Mike Craig, who said East Toledo and the Old South End were given unfairly low percentages of street repaving and waterline replacement money.

Mr. Craig said District 3 has for years gotten less for street repair than any other district. The street repaving list identified 0.62 miles in East Toledo. That is compared to 8 miles for District 1; 7.17 miles in District 2; 10.3 miles in District 4; 10 miles in District 5, and 3.06 miles in District 6.

The waterline replacement streets adds 0.3 miles for District 3 — which is just slightly more than the 0.12 miles the Collins administration identified in District 4.

“I think there is a more equitable way to do some of this stuff,” Mr. Craig said. “Administrations have economically discriminated against my district for years. I have some of the worst streets and some of the oldest waterlines in the city.”

There is $190,000 of city money earmarked for East Toledo streets and none for the old south part of District 3. By comparison, there will be more than $1.6 million of city money and more than $3.8 million of state and federal money to redo 7.17 miles in District 2 — the L-shaped district engulfing South Toledo, where Mayor D. Michael Collins lives and the area he represented as a district councilman.

The street repaving that will occur after waterline work adds another 0.68 miles for District 1; 4.7 miles for District 2; 2.12 miles for District 5; and 3.07 miles for District 6.

Council’s finance committee will discuss the street repaving program when it reviews the proposed capital improvements budget during a public hearing May 22.

The city’s capital improvements budget totals $61.7 million, which includes $17 million for debt service, $14 million that will be transferred to the general fund for operating costs such as police and fire salaries, and $2.5 million for lease payments.

At its regular meeting Tuesday, council could vote to authorize more than $17.66 million for the street paving, street sealing, the city sidewalk repair program, and several projects such as the construction of a new fire station in North Toledo. There is also $312,592 set aside for the “1 percent for the arts” program. The street repair program alone will cost $12.2 million in city money, but the city is expected to get $23 million in state and federal matching grants for main roadway projects.

District 6 Councilman Lindsay Webb, who lives in Point Place, said the 3.06 miles identified to be fixed is nowhere near enough.

She also will get an additional 3.07 miles after the waterline work.

Ms. Webb said the money should be divided evenly to give each district 16.6 percent of the available funding.

Contact Ignazio Messina at: imessina@theblade.com or 419-724-6171 or on Twitter @IgnazioMessina.

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