State of the City details capital improvements

·5 min read

Cambridge Mayor Tom Orr recently addressed council, as did department heads who gave their year-end reports.

Mayor Tom Orr
Mayor Tom Orr

One of the busiest departments in 2021 was the city engineer's office, which worked on multiple capital improvement projects, including the Clark Street and Steubenville Avenue reconstruction projects, along with the Steubenville Avenue waterline replacement project.

Additional projects include Safe Routes to School, Woodlawn waterline and Wills Creek Valley slip among others.

The Clark Street Reconstruction project involved full depth pavement, storm sewer, curb, gutter and sidewalk replacements on .89 mile section of road. The project came with a $3,263,645 price tag.

"There is still some work to be done out there," Tom Orrtold council when delivering City Engineer Nick Cunningham's year-end report to Cambridge City Council, Monday night.

The project was not the smoothest one, Orr said.

The project was originally awarded to Amaazz, but the city is now working with Surety to finish it.

Part one of the Steubenville Avenue Reconstruction Project is done, Orr said.

Like the Clark Street Reconstruction Project, the Steubenville Avenue project will involve reconstructing .73 mile of roadway from North Fifth Street to Highland Avenue and will also include pavement, storm sewer, new curb, gutter and sidewalks, as well as decorative lighting.

Tucson who is doing the work for a price of $3,577,439.26 expects to complete the project this spring.

Shelly and Sands completed the 2021 Continuous Street Project, which involved resurfacing 2.17 miles of various streets throughout the city in December at a cost of $553,029.

Shelly and Sands was also the contractor on the Safe Routes to School Project which involved the replacement of some sidewalks, drive approaches and curb ramps along North 10th Street from Steubenville Avenue to Foster Avenue. Safe Routes to School was completed in July at the cost of $266,088.30.

The Woodlawn Waterline Project, which includes the replacement of all water mains and services located on the street from Campbell Avenue to Charles Avenue was awarded to Zemba for $539,987.

The Wills Creek Valley Drive Slip Repair was completed in August at the cost of $169,866.00.

The Lead Service Line project, which Orr said is a huge project, is in phase one. The project involves the replacement of approximately 250 lead service lines throughout the southside. The $995,763 project is expected to be completed this fall/winter.

Orr noted the benefits of Cambridge having an in-house engineer when he read the amount of grant money Cunningham was able to obtain for the city.

Total funding received for capital improvements for 2021 was $4,255,504.

Using the 208 CHIP Grant, the Economic and Community Development was able to complete 16 home repairs, one new construction on Foster Avenue for funding of the Habitat for Humanity Home and 10 full rehabilitations.

The 2018 allocation grant was closed out and used for eight home repairs and assisted with the funding of a new bathroom for residents of the Country View Assisted Living Facility.

The department has received notice of funding for the 2021 CHIP grant in the amount of $700,000 which is expected to commence the first quarter of 2022.

In his report, Public Safety Director Rocky Hill said that 2021 was a challenging year as the city dealt with continuing issues such as COVID -19 and budgets.

"During 2021 we saw the influx of COVID-19 and the effects it had on our staffs, specifically the police and fire departments as they continued to handle calls in the most professional manner that we could ever expect," Hill said.

Hill noted the Code Enforcement department while operating with one code enforcement officer, Kim Conrath, had experienced an increase in activity.

"This year has been historical as we were able to sit down with all three unions and work out a viable and acceptable three-year agreements without having to use outside legal representation," Hill said.

In his report, Cambridge Fire Chief Jeff Deeks saidthe department was tested in 2021 and, instead of showing the department's weaknesses, the tests help them discover their strengths.

"2021 has tested all of us, every person, and every business, but I will tell you that this department and your firefighters did not back down," Deeks said. "If anything, what 2021 has reaffirmed is how this department will operate.

The department responded to 1,334, up from 1,167 calls in 2020.

The department received $57,000 in grants from Ohio Division of EMS, MARCS Grants and AFG Grant. A new engine was ordered and has been paid for. Anticipated delivery is late summer/early fall. This engine will replace the 30-year engine currently used.

In his report, Cambridge Police Chief Mark Delancey said his department was challenged by the pandemic and the political atmosphere regarding law enforcement officers. He added his officers faced these issues with the utmost integrity and dedication with providing the citizens of Cambridge professional service.

The police department responded to 8,918 calls in 2021, which is an increase of 1,308 calls from 2020. The department investigated 107 felony cases and 109 felony drug cases.

Michael Sikora, treasurer for the city said tax revenue for 2021 totaled $8,749,586, a 13% increase from the previous year. Additionally. the income tax department exceeded its budgetary revenue goals for 2021.

"With the challenges that have faced us in 2020 and 2021, the cooperations between the treasure's office and other city offices have strengthened," Sikora said. "There is now synergy between the offices of the auditor, mayor, law director, utilities, municipal court, police and the city council."

This article originally appeared on The Daily Jeffersonian: State of the City details capital improvements