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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

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The Ohio Township Association is asking its members to provide data on their costs for maintaining and repairing roads in their jurisdictions as the association prepares to lobby the state legislature on bills to fund roads.

In its October 30 legislative alert, the OTA asks township officials to provide information about the costs of maintaining roads over the past decade:

• What did it cost in 2005 and 2015 to drag one mile of a gravel road?

• What did it cost in 2005 and 2015 to chip seal one mile of road?

• What did it cost in 2005 and 2015 to pave one mile of road?

• What did it cost in 2005 and 2015 for one ton of salt?

In testimony last February before the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, Matthew DeTemple, executive director of the OTA, noted that the maintenance of roads is the largest responsibility of townships.

Statewide, townships maintain more than 41,000 miles of roads in Ohio, he said, but funding has not kept pace with costs.

“The Federal Highway Administration found that highway construction and maintenance costs nationwide grew approximately three times faster from 2003 through 2006 than their fastest rate during any 3-year period between 1990 and 2003, substantially reducing the purchasing power of highway funds (The Federal Highway Administration, September 2007). Since that report, the rate of increase has accelerated, with highway maintenance costs rising at an 8.4 percent average annual rate during 2007-2010 (The Federal Highway Administration, September 2011). Townships in Ohio have seen their costs sky-rocket over the last ten years, as well,” he told the committee.

DeTemple said the outward migration to unincorporated areas has caused an increase of traffic on township roads, especially by heavy commercial vehicles.

“Businesses that produce heavy truck traffic, such as mining, logging, CAFFs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Facilities) and solid waste to name a few, and do damage to township roads, should be required to provide financial help to the township in which the business resides for infrastructure improvements. The Road Use Maintenance Agreement (RUMA) language in the Ohio Revised Code has helped with the oil and gas industry,” he said.

In 2014, Lake Township spent $13,745 for striping, berm stone and cold patching, according to Vicki Schwamberger, township fiscal officer. All expenses were paid from the gasoline tax, motor vehicle license tax or permissive MVL tax, she said.

According to data provided by the township and Wood County engineer’s office, it cost about $105,000 in 2005 to resurface one mile of 22-foot-wide road with asphalt. In 2015, that project cost about $175,000.
 A similar chip and seal project increased from about $10,000 in 2005 to $14,000 in 2015.

 

 

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