Poland Township Trustees held a special meeting on Thursday, Sept. 20 to take care of some important matters. They approved the road resurfacing program, gave land to the fire department, and announced a record low gas rate for the coming year.
On the road resurfacing program, in mid-summer, the township had submitted a large list of roads that needed work. When the bids came in, they were way higher than expected.
"That first bid had a larger list of streets and the price came in way too high," said township administrator Jim Scharville."We had to reduce the number of streets and advertise for another bid."
He said the problem was the blacktop. Since it is a by-product of oil, the costs had risen as the cost of oil rose. The township had to get the paving project down closer to the budgeted amount, which meant advertising for bids on fewer streets that the original plan.
"We chose to pave Lee Run, Katahdin, and Coblentz Drive," Scharville said. "The Mahoning County Engineers gave us an estimate of $108,145.20 for those three streets."
When the bids came in, they ranged in price from $67,749.50 to $77,264. There were five companies submitting bids. Scharville said that was a welcomed surprise and falls easily within the township's budget. He added that if the bid had been awarded earlier this year, the estimate would have been much higher, so the timing and price were better in September.
Trustees awarded the project to the low bidder, which was RT Vernal Paving Company. With the bid awarded, the work can begin soon and may start this week.
Scharville said the three streets in this year's list were partially paved last year.
"This year they will be completed," he said.
The township also accepted property from the Western Reserve Joint Fire District at the meeting. Scharville said the fire district wants to build an addition to Station 92 at 7519 Youngstown-Pittsburgh Road, but there was a snag to the construction permit.
"Recently the fire district bought the land next to the station," Scharville said. "If they were to build the addition, it would mean dealing with two separate property owners."
The township owns the present property that Station 92 sits on. With the fire district being considered a separate entity, it would be like building a structure on two different land owner's property. That would be a confusing situation.
To solve the issue, the fire district gave the land to the township, bringing the present site and the neighboring site under one owner. The township would then lease the land to the fire district for a dollar a year under a 99-year lease.
"With one property owner, it simplifies the construction process," Scharville said.
On a different matter, township trustee Mark Naples announced the price for the 2012-13 for natural gas at $3.99 per Mcf. He said that was the lowest rate Poland Township has received since joining the gas aggregation program back on November of 2009. Last year's rate was $5.54 per Mcf.
The new lower gas rates will run from October to October and will fix the rate for those on the aggregation program. For those who opted out and would like to get into the program, or if they are existing customers with a question, they can direct them to IGS Energy's toll free number at 1-800-280-4474. Inquiries should not be made to the township as it is not equipped to handle a large volume of calls.
Scharville said residents will be getting a letter from IGS Energy about the program. For those who are still in the program, the letter will state the new amount and that they need to do nothing to stay in it. For those who opted out in the past, a second different letter will be sent with instructions on how to get back in the program.