by Jeff Saunders | Reporter
Northfield Village — The village will be able to increase its sanitary sewer capacity next year, thanks to a $1.66-million state Issue 1 grant.
Mayor Jesse Nehez said at Village Council’s Nov. 14 meeting that the funds were awarded earlier in the day. Nehez thanked Village Engineer Rich Wasosky for his efforts in securing the money, saying “$1.66 million is a lot of money for this town.”
“I’m really glad we applied for that,” he said.
In October, Wasosky said that the Technical Advisory Committee of the Ohio Public Works Commission District 8 rejected the village’s application. The committee initially decides on what Summit County projects will be awarded funding.
But Wasosky said he appealed the matter to the larger District 8 Integrating Committee, which has the power to overrule rejections by the Technical Committee and did so in this case.
Wasosky said the project is estimated to cost about $1.9 million, with the village picking up the $240,000 balance. He said it is in connection with a planned $275-million gaming and entertainment complex at Northfield park, construction of which is expected to begin as early as this month.
“It should be soon that they award bids and get going,” said Wasosky.
Prior plans to place two sewer lines in the Route 8 right of way near the track property, which Wasosky estimates will cost the village less than $50,000, would have taken care of the racino’s needs.
But Wasosky said the $1.9 million project would enable the village meet expanded capacity that would be required for any future expansion in the area, such as a hotel.
In addition, he said, additional capacity will also be needed if several vacant commercial parcels on the west side of Route 8 opposite the track project site, are developed as a result of the track facility.
The $1.9 million project will also allow the village to eliminate its Elm Street sanitary sewer pump station, which has a history of periodic maintenance issues, said Wasosky.
The sewer project includes replacing sewer lines along Route 8 from Filly Lane to Houghton Road and on Houghton from Route 8 to Victory Drive with larger lines. A line along Summit Avenue will also be replaced with a line of the same diameter, but at a different elevation to allow for the elimination of the pump station.
Wasosky said he expects to be ready to seek bids for the project next May, but construction cannot begin until summer.
“The money is not given out until next July 1, statewide,” said Wasosky.
Wasosky said the village’s portion could be paid, at least in part, by employee withholding tax the village is expected to rec eive next year from construction work at the race track this year.
He estimated that overall the year-long project will net the village about $1.6 million in construction-related tax revenue, but cautioned that this is based solely on his “experience in construction.”
“It’s an educated guess based on other projects,” he said.
Councilor John Bolek also thanked Wasosky for his efforts.
“You have done a tremendous job in getting this done,” he said. “This is really going to help this town long term.”