Savings of $1.3 million to be spent on additional paving in Middletown

The City of Middletown is expected to begin a lengthy paving project this spring after voters approved a city income tax in November 2020. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
The City of Middletown is expected to begin a lengthy paving project this spring after voters approved a city income tax in November 2020. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Thanks to lower interest rates and lesser broker fees, the city of Middletown is saving $1.3 million from its earlier projections, and the extra funds will be spent on paving, said Finance Director Jacob Burton.

Middletown voters in November approved a 0.25 percent increase to the city income tax for the next 10 years that is expected to raise $36.2 million. The total costs of the debt issuance is $34,077,156, allowing for $2,126,773 of additional paving to occur throughout the 10-year tax levy period.

Burton said March 22 is the closing date and once the city receives the funds, the money will be placed in a separate bank account and interest will be earmarked for more paving.

City Manager Jim Palenick said the plan is to complete the “most cost effective, successful” paving project possible.

Vice Mayor Joe Mulligan thanked voters for their confidence and while paving isn’t “fun and exciting,” it’s imperative the city get its streets “up to good standards,” he said during Tuesday’s meeting.

The city is expected to start its paving blitz of 176 lane miles of city streets and roads sometime in May, depending on the weather, according to Shelby Quinlivan, city spokeswoman.

Quinlivan said the city is finalizing the list of streets and roads to be repaired and repaved as part of the project before the city solicits requests for proposals. City officials said the criteria for paving streets include the pavement condition, traffic volume, safety concerns, maintenance costs, utility considerations and complaints.

The city maintains more than 621 lane miles of roadway, and 59 percent are rated as being in excellent, good or fair condition, according the latest Pavement Condition Index last done in 2017. The rest are rated as being in poor, very poor or failed conditions, according to Scott Tadych, public works and utilities director.

He said the cost per lane mile to pave streets is between $125,000 and $250,000, depending on the street’s condition.

“We’re really excited about this project,” he said.

TIMELINE FOR MIDDLETOWN PAVING PROJECT

Nov. 3, 2020: Middletown voters passed a 0.25% increase to the city income tax for the next 10 years

March 2: Financing approved by City Council

March 2: Paving project went out for bid

March 23: Bid opening

April 6: Anticipated contract award for paving

Early May: Construction for paving project begins weather permitting

SOURCE: City of Middletown

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