NILES - With fiscal year 2013 coming to a close and the 2014 budget hearing on the horizon, the city has sharpened its focus on the coming year's large summer projects.
During Wednesday's regular meeting, council voted unanimously to adopt the North Main Street Reconstruction Project, which will use primarily grant money to repair Niles' main artery from the city limits near North Road to East Federal Street.
Mayor Ralph A. Infante, who brought the resolution to council at the Oct. 16 meeting, said this summer is the right time to focus on North Main Street.
"The last time we did this was the late 1990s," Infante said. "We're also going to do the other half of North Main Street using funds from the Federal Highway Administration later on."
The resolution passed 7-0 as an emergency legislation.
The grant, which covers $386,000 of the $560,000 project, was obtained through the Ohio Public Works Commission Program. The grant requires the remainder of the project be paid for by a local share of matching funds.
Councilman Steve Papalas commended Mark Hess, the city's engineering, grants and development coordinator, with making the project happen.
"Really, Mark is the person who should get all the credit for this," Papalas said. "He's got to work at it during these data meetings that he goes to and he does a yeoman's job with that.
"We really need to thank him more for the job that he does at those meetings."
In addition to the North Main Street project, Niles will also do reconstruction on East Federal Street. That project was delayed until 2014 due to traffic concerns resulting from the Robbins Avenue Bridge project.
"Right now, the schedule is we wanted to start East Federal on June 1 and be completed by July 15 so that I would be able to then go into this North Main Street project and it could be completed," Hess said.
The North Main Street project will likely advertise for bids in June and begin construction in August. Hess expects the roadway reconstruction to be completed in October.
"We also have a lighting project we're going to do on North Main Street," Hess said. "So it's going to be a pretty busy summer. We've got them all scheduled, though, and we should be able to fit them in."
Traffic concerns are being taken into consideration, according to Papalas, who said they'll likely work on two lanes at a time for the four lane road.
"I'm no engineer, but that's what I would expect," Papalas said. "I'm sure there's going to be some detours for the trucks and once people figure out what's going on, they'll find other ways to get where they need to go."
Announcements for reconstructing the remaining portion of North Main Street is expected to come at a later date.