Thursday, March 13, 2003

Orange barrels soon to appear along Lebanon's Deerfield Road

By Jill Hanning
Enquirer contributor

LEBANON - Residents along Deerfield Road will have to endure more orange barrels on their street beginning in May, but the good news is that phase two of the project will bring completion to the reconstruction.

City Council gave the green light at Tuesday's meeting to contract the work to W.G. Stang Inc., which will complete the roadwork between May and August.

The $237,721 project will replace pavement; create gutters, curbs and handicap ramps; and implement a new storm-sewer system on the two residential blocks between Park and Wright avenues, said Service Director Scott Brunka.

The water main was already replaced for the entire project during phase one.

Phase one, reconstructing the three blocks from Park to East Avenues, was completed between July and December. However, repairs to the surface still need to be made, Brunka said. The reconstruction was divided into two phases to "make sure we could have asphalt down prior to winter months," Brunka said.

City Manager Pat Clements said the Deerfield Road project is the only replacement project scheduled this year, though many more road needs must be addressed.

The budget allows about $200,000 for street resurfacing, but, Clements said, "we need to double the budget. If we were to ramp up with some bonds, we would probably be able to catch up."

In other council action, legislation was passed Tuesday terminating two leases between the city and the Warren County Historical Society on space that was intended for creation of a downtown visitors center. The project fell through because of a lack of funding and support, Clements said.

"It's unfortunate that it didn't work out for either of us," said Vice Mayor James Reinhard.

Historical Society Museum Director Mary Payne said, "It was a mutual agreement. There is no animosity."

The leased properties were located in the lobby of the old post office on South Broadway and the space adjacent to it, at the northwest corner of Broadway and South Street, which was to be turned into a small parking lot.

Payne said the society plans to extend the museum into the adjacent post office, which it owns, and at some point incorporate the lobby as well.

The city contracted the 40-year leases in March 1999 at a rent of $1 a year.

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