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Newbury, Ohio 44065
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Downtown Upgrade Project Is Just Right Around the Corner

September 10, 2004

September 2004
by Joan Demirjian

Chagrin Herald Sun

Work will start soon on the long-awaited Chagrin Falls downtown improvement project. Chagrin Falls Village Council awarded the project Monday to Burton Scot Contractors.

Burton Scot submitted the low bid of $3,856,711 on the project. The highest of three bids for the work was offered by Perk Co. at $4,432,318.

The low bid is 8 percent higher, or about $300,000 more, than the village engineer's estimate for the project.

Councilman William Tompko said a meeting will be held to determine if there are any parts of the bid that might be changed and if any proposed capital-improvement projects might be temporarily placed on hold until the streetscape work is completed. Council will then meet to discuss any changes proposed.

Council voted unanimously for Burton Scot's bid. Councilman Stephen Patton was not present for the vote.

Mr. Tomko said the firm was the preferred bidder, because it has done other work for the village.  Everyone has been happy with its work, and it had good relationships with residents where projects have been done, he said.

Streetscape improvements will include placing overhead utility wires underground or behind stores, replacing sidewalks and installing 1900-peroid decorative lighting poles.  New rubbish containers and benches are part of the project.

Areas of improvement will include Main Street between Washington and Cottage streets, Franklin Street at Triangle Park and portions of Washington and Bell streets. It also will include beautification and redesign of the entrance to Riverside Park.

Improvement work is expected to stop from Thanksgiving through the new year, during the Blossom Time Festival next spring and for other special events in the village.

Work will be funded through a variety of sources.  Village voters approved a bond issue of 2002 that will generate $2.4 million for the project.

Residents started paying on the bond issue in December 2003, village Finance Director David Bloom said.

The village is receiving a $500,000 grant from a federal transportation enhancement bill for storm-water-quality improvements. An application for a $500,000 grant from the federal transportation bill has also been made.

And the village is hoping for a grant from the Alcoa Foundation for the Riverside Park entrance enhancement.

Mayor Lydia Champlin has been working on procuring the grants from Alcoa and the transportation bill.

The balance of the funding for the project has been set aside in the village's capital-improvement fund.

Council will look at the village's capital-projects budget to see if any projects there can be trimmed or pushed back, Mr. Bloom said.

Village Administrator Benjamin Himes said council also will consider some of the alternate bids in the work that might be eliminated.

"We're waiting now to hear from the contractor for a start date," he said.

In a separate project, new traffic lights are being installed at East Washington and Main streets. Decorative poles, which will fit with the streetscape design, are expected to be delivered this week.

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