Airport Road may be fixed in stages
By Bert Lehman
Discussion regarding what to do with Airport Road came before the Street Committee at its July 7 meeting.
Clintonville Public Works Director Toby Kersten told the committee it would cost $11,000 to make Airport Road a gravel road. This cost included $8,500 for the required amount of gravel, with the rest of the cost for “reclaiming” the road, which would involve grinding the existing pavement.
“I just thought I’d bring that back one more time and see if we could save some money and see if we could get that at least to a gravel road, and try to pave it in the future,” Kersten said.
He added that his department hasn’t used all of its budget in some areas, such as snow removal because of the lack of snow last winter. His department also did more in-house work to save money.
“That’s one idea where we could work within my budget if you would allow us to take money out of different accounts and try to get this road at least so we can keep it graded,” Kersen said.
Currently the Public Works Department spends time each week cold-patching spots on the road.
Cold Patch is $72 a ton, and a ton of Cold Patch is not a very big amount,” Kersten said. “We’re just throwing money at that road left and right and it seems by the time you get from Airport Road back to our shop, there are 10 more holes.”
If it was a gravel road, Kersten said the city could grade it once a week to maintain it. This would save manpower and money, he said.
Committee member Steve Kettenhoven asked if a gravel road would hold up to plowing in the winter.
Kersten said some of the gravel would wind up getting graded off the road, but he wasn’t concerned about that since there isn’t a shoulder on the road now.
“Anything we plow off to the shoulder is not going to be a loss as far as I’m concerned,” Kersten said.
If the city made Airport Road a gravel road, the city could maintain it and then pave it in the future when the city has the funds to do so. Once it is paved, Kersten said he’d like to see a weight limit restriction placed on the road.
Committee member Jim Krause asked if the savings would offset the expense of the project.
Kersten said he could fit the cost in the budget.
Interim City Administrator Chuck Kell said the chairman of the town of Matteson met with him recently to discuss the issue because the city of Clintonville didn’t send him a correspondence regarding the council’s action.
“The town is not very happy about the response that the city had,” Kell said. “He understood that we probably didn’t have money in the budget right now. What they were really hoping for, was that the city would come forward with some type of a plan of when we might do something, hopefully in the next couple of years. They weren’t expecting us to address the road right away because it was a new issue and it wasn’t addressed at budget time.”
Kell recommended a staged process to address the road.
“I think the town would be real happy to hear if we were going to do something now to make it a little better, and then maybe a couple years down the road we’ll get the money for the actual repaving of it,” Kell said.
The committee recommended to council the approval of the gravel reclaim of Airport Road.