Throw a dart at a map of Corry, and chances are the nearest road needs a lot of maintenance.
That’s how Corry Councilman Steve Bresler described road conditions during a recent council meeting.
Councilman Alex Gernovich, director of streets and public improvements, said the city’s Longterm Paving Planning Committee has been meeting twice a month to get a grasp on current road conditions. It’s a difficult task, Gernovich conceded, noting, “We’re aware we have a situation. The roads here are in pretty bad shape.”
The committee comprises of Gernovich, City Treasurer Tom Winchell, and citizens Rex Messenger and Taree Hamilton. The next city manager also will be added to the committee once he or she is hired.
Gernovich said the committee has reached out to City Engineer Gus Maas to quote a citywide maintenance schedule survey that would inventory all city streets and their current conditions. The goal would be to develop a system so City Council could determine what streets should receive maintenance and how long each cycle should take.
“We need to look at what it’s going to cost to maintain the streets,” Gernovich said, noting his optimism for the committee to provide insight for council. “We would have a system where maybe one year we pave a bunch of streets, then the next year pave nothing at all. It’s really a planned approach.”
After a lengthy debate, council in June decided to mill and asphalt East Washington and Sciota streets, based on an estimated $225,000 budget for road resurfacing. Gernovich said the committee’s survey would allow council to have a citywide plan in place to determine which streets to tackle based on numerous factors, such as whether the street is residential, commercial or industrial, and how much traffic the street encounters.
“It’s certainly a different approach,” Gernovich said. “Unfortunately right now, there are too many miles of roads and not enough dollars. But I’m excited, and I think this is going to pay off for us in the long run.”
As for current road work, the Corry Public Works Department was expected to finish asphalt patch work this week in the city’s Third Ward — considered to be in the worst shape. Crews were scheduled to begin patch work in the Second Ward, followed by the First and Fourth wards.
“Everything is on schedule and where we thought we would be,” said Terry Williams, Public Works superintendent.
In related news, council this week approved a drainage and paving survey for Plastics Road. Gernovich suggested the survey, approved at a cost of no more than $2,000, due to the street’s importance for businesses in the area.
“It’s a major industrial area,” he said. “It’s our industrial park, and we want to attract business and maintain business. I think that needs to be a priority.”
The survey does not guarantee the street will receive any attention in the near future. Nonetheless, Gernovich said it’s important to know what maintenance would be required should council take action.
Not everyone on council agreed.
“I have issues with spending the money and doing the study now, knowing that there is nothing we can do this year because things may change,” said Councilman Charlie Campbell. “We may have to do another study next year because the whole situation changed.”
Those agreeing on the survey were Mayor Pat Migliaccio, and Councilmen Gernovich, Steve Bresler and Jason Monn. Campbell cast the lone no vote.