GIRARD, Ohio (WYTV) – A paving project on state Route 304, also known as Churchill Road, in Girard that was supposed to happen this year has been put on hold for a year.
That is because the city has to come up with the money to make the sidewalks on that road compliant with the American Disabilities Act. Girard Mayor James Melfi said it would cost Girard $225,000 to upgrade the sidewalks, which is money the city just does not have to spend, especially with some uncertainties when it comes to city revenue through employee wage taxes.
“Vallourec is practically not working at all. We lost a third of Trinity Industries here recently. That is going to amount to about $35,000 to $40,000 in lost revenue for the city,” Melfi said.
Last year, Vallourec gave the city $475,000. Melfi expects that number to be considerably less this time around.
However, he said the paving project delay gives city officials the chance to apply for other ways to fund the project.
“We don’t want to put ourselves in a position where the city is in difficult shape financially,” Melfi said.
The sidewalks on Route 304 have numerous bumps and cracks and are uneven, which would make it really difficult for a person in a wheelchair to safely travel on them.
“In fact, just getting onto the sidewalk would be a challenge.
“Yeah, they are kind of raised, they are not flush with the ground at all. So definitely certain road are completely inaccessible by wheelchair or stroller,” resident Max Horne said.
“The sidewalks are in pretty bad repair, as I am sure everyone in Girard knows,” Melfi said.