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Collins offers initial plan for street projects

Proposal seems to suggest fixes to fewer miles than under Bell

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Corey Allison, Paula Williams, and Dwayne Garrett, from left, patch potholes on Berdan Avenue near Detroit Avenue last week.

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The Collins administration Friday released the first hint of street repaving projects for 2014, which seems initially to be less than the number of lane miles fixed last year.

Mayor D. Michael Collins sent council a request to spend $8.1 million on streets, which includes $4.2 million from the city’s capital improvement budget for what is called the 2014 “matches and planning program.”

“We try to have early legislation for what we call matches and planning, which are bigger projects that we commit for matches for state and federal funds,” said Robin Whitney, the city’s public utilities director.

Residential streets are not eligible for those matching grants, Ms. Whitney said.

The Collins administration is also asking to spend $2.2 million from the capital improvement budget for the 2014 general resurfacing program and $1.69 million of prior, unused capital improvement money for this year’s street program.

The city expects $23 million from state and federal sources this year.

The local contribution for streets is less than the initial allocation for streets in 2013, when former Mayor Mike Bell asked for $7.49 million for matches and planning and $4.4 million for the 2013 general resurfacing program.

Mayor Bell set a city record in 2013 with 61 miles repaved. Four-lane or wider streets were counted double. That included about 10 miles of streets that were funded in the 2012 budget.

Ms. Whitney said it is too early in the year to know the total lane miles that will be repaved in 2014.

“There are some residential streets in this legislation — the $2.2 million is targeted for general resurfacing,” she said. “Part of it is Madison Avenue from 11th Street to Woodruff Street and that is 100 percent city money. ... It is lower than past years, but it’s not all we will get because the finance department is still going through the budget to determine how much there would be.”

The city is also paving streets for the Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority’s new Collingwood Green Senior Community, Ms. Whitney said.

City Spokesman Lisa Ward said the full capital improvements budget and the 2014 general fund budget are being revised.

“We have no idea yet how many streets we will pave in 2014,” Ms. Ward said. “The mayor hasn’t made an outright commitment, but I can’t see a situation where we wouldn’t have any residential streets. This is our initial salvo into the legislation process to get matches and planning money.”

Ms. Ward said the residential streets likely would be divided equally among the city’s six council districts.

The Collins administration has not released a plan for sidewalks and curbs. Last year, the city set aside $350,000 for the street seal and curb program and $350,000 for sidewalks.

The street projects identified Friday for resurfacing are:

● Madison from 11th to Woodruff.

● Nebraska Avenue from Detroit Avenue to Collingwood Boulevard.

● Douglas Road from Dorr Street to Kenwood Boulevard.

● Suder Avenue from Manhattan Boulevard to just north of Abygail Trail.

● Dorr from Byrne Road to Douglas.

The plan includes reconstructing the Phillips Avenue and Willys Parkway connector.

“We are doing that project in conjunction with ODOT, and it is not the whole project,” Ms. Whitney said.

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

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