By CHRIS EBERHART
The Harrison Town Council separated the road resurfacing project from the rest of the 2014 capital budget so work can be started and completed before the end of the warm weather months.
The Town Council authorized the use of $300,000 left over from last year’s capital budget to begin a town-wide road resurfacing project and temporarily identified bonding as the funding source for an additional $825,000 to complete the project, repair sidewalks and remove dead trees, but the funding source is subject to change, according to Republican Town Councilman Joe Cannella.
A final decision on a funding source is expected to be made sometime in July.
“The roads really took a beating last winter,” Town Councilman Fred Sciliano, a Republican, said. “The DPW did a good job staying on top of the potholes, but there is a lot more work that needs to be done.”
Cannella said, “This will be the biggest road resurfacing project we’ve had in quite some time.”
During the capital budget discussions in April, Public Works Commissioner Anthony Robinson originally proposed an $8 million public works capital budget, of which approximately $3 million would’ve been spent on road resurfacing.
Robinson said the harsh winter took a toll on the town’s roads, which was why his estimates for road resurfacing was so high, but he admitted during negotiations with the council and the mayor the $3 million was “not a practical number to try and achieve in one budget year.”
The $3 million capital budget for road resurfacing was ultimately cut down to $750,000.
Robinson approached the council during its June 19 meeting and requested the immediate funding for road resurfacing so he can put the project out to bid and begin it as soon as possible.
“[Road resurfacing] is time sensitive, so we’re dealing with this as a separate piece of the capital budget,” Cannella said. “It needs to be done, and we can’t miss the window. It has to be done before the leaves fall.”
The council approved Robinson’s request to use the $300,000 left over from the 2013 public works capital budget to supplement this year’s capital budget and temporarily agreed to use bonding as the funding source for the additional request of $750,000 for road resurfacing, $50,000 for sidewalk repairs and $25,000 for tree removal.
Sciliano said the project will first be put out to bid and work will begin shortly thereafter and end sometime in the fall.
Robinson did not return calls for comment as of press time.