BRIDGEPORT - The village is seeking bids for the repaving of Hall Street - a piece of news that likely will delight businesses owners and motorists who have been driving on the pothole-filled road for months.
Mayor John Callarik on Tuesday said money for the project will be taken from the village's general fund budget. He did not want to estimate how much the job would cost, but noted bids would be opened next week and one must be approved by council.
"We have to do something - that area is bad. It's got everyone upset down there. We have to do something," Callarik said.
On Wednesday, however, Councilman Dave Smith said Village Council had not yet approved seeking bids for the paving project. Callarik, he said, advertised for the bids without council's approval. Smith said Village Solicitor Michael Shaheen deemed the legal advertisement invalid. He noted council and the mayor agree the road needs fixed, but the extent of the paving is where they disagree.
"Council has no idea what part or parts of Hall Street the Mayor's Office took upon themselves to bid out," Smith said.
In response, Callarik on Wednesday said the reason he went ahead and sought bids without council's approval is because council was dragging its feet on the issue. The work, he said, needs to get done before winter.
"What we're going to do is during a meeting Tuesday next week, we're going to make it legal and re-advertise for bids," Callarik said.
"We need to get this going. That street needs done real bad. It took something like this to speed them up. We need to jump on this thing now. ... We should solve this whole thing Tuesday night," he said, noting the meeting is at 6 p.m. at the municipal building.
"My thing is the job needs done. Quit messing around with it - it won't get done before winter. That's why we got to move on it. ... I don't care what they say," Callarik said of council.
Numerous businesses rely on Hall Street, including a law office, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, a carpet store, a car lot, a barbershop, a lumber store and more.
Meanwhile, Callarik said the village doesn't have any plans to remove large bumps on Howard Street, one of which shakes nearby houses and businesses in the 200 block. He said the village does not have the equipment to remove the bumps. He said the Ohio Department of Transportation could be contacted for help, as it originally installed the concrete expansion joints, which are damaged and need removed.
"We need to cut the old block out and put new block in," he added.
Meanwhile, Callarik said with help from village workers and some village equipment, he and his son, via his JJC Construction Co., paved Sumpter, Laipple and Church streets, along with South Lincoln Avenue.
"We did it for the village. ... They didn't have to pay me or my son. We used village equipment and village helpers. We did a good job on that," Callarik said.
Callarik also said the village received grant funding for the future paving of Bench and High streets. He said Belmont County commissioners are acting as the pass-through agency on the state grant.
He estimated it would cost about $40,000 to do both streets.