Funding Strategy Chosen for Major Hallett Ave Project, Swanton VFW Requests Parking in Vacant Lot

Several funding options for a two-phase resurfacing project for Hallett Avenue were discussed by the Swanton Village Council at their July meeting last Monday night and the members chose to apply for grants to help cover both phases.  Grant funding applications would be through the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments (TMACOG) for Surface Transportation Block Grants (STBG).  Hallett Avenue was chosen because it is main Swanton highway located in Lucas County and TMACOG funding does not extend into Fulton County.

“This is a big project,” said Rosanna Hoelzle, Village Administrator.  “If you’ve driven down Hallett you’ve probably noticed that the curbs and gutters are in dire need of updating.”  Ms. Hoelzle explained that the project would be divided into Phase “A” which would run from Airport Highway to the south side approach of the overpass and Phase “B” which would begin at the north side approach of the overpass to the Ohio Turnpike.  Overall, the project would include milling and resurfacing, repairing curbs and gutters and placing a sidewalk on the southwest side of Hallet.

The three funding options laid out by Ms. Hoelzle were to apply for a grant for one of the phases, both phases individually with a preferred priority or a grant for the entire project.  The estimated combined cost of the phases is $1,280,000 and, to maximize the chance of having the grant application approved, Ms. Hoelzle recommended the Village cover 36% of the total.  Finance Director Jennifer Harkey said Village’s portion would be paid for with the gas tax.

After some discussion, the Council chose to apply for the maximum amount available of $1,170,000.  If successful, the funding would become available in 2024.

Council also discussed replacing the 1998 wood chipper that has been breaking down on a regular basis for the past two years.  The broken chipper has been causing delays in brush pickup and has required the Village to rent one at $1500 per week to continue the service for this year.  The cost of a new chipper is approximately $45,000 and would not be available until early 2022.

Don Dutridge, Commander of the Swanton VFW Post 8598, addressed Council concerning the use of a vacant parcel on South Main Street.  Currently, the Village has a temporary plan to convert it into a “green” space with picnic tables for the community until a better use is found.  However, Commander Dutridge explained that the lot has been used by the VFW and other nearby businesses for parking for over twenty years.

“As you know, parking in that area is pretty bad,” he stated.  “We have five businesses down there and we have eight parking spots.  Losing that space when you called it a green space, picnic table area, I think that really hurt us bad.”  Mr. Dutridge said using other businesses parking lots was not a viable option because of liability issues.  At this time, the Village has no other plans for the lot.  Council agreed to place the issue before the Public Service Committee which will next meet on August 23, 2021.

The next Council meeting will be held on August 9, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers at 219 Chestnut Street.

Pictured:  Hallet Avenue facing North.

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