MEDINA — The brick-lined South Broadway Street needs a major overhaul, but proposals put forth by city officials — including one that could have property owners paying upward of $7,760 in assessment fees — have divided homeowners on whether the Old World look is still needed in 2019.
There are 30 homeowners along the stretch of South Broadway that is in question, which runs from Lafayette Road to Grant Street.
Homeowners received a letter dated Feb. 22 outlining the potential paving options for the street. The project will include complete removal and replacement of the pavement, new concrete drive aprons, new water lines and new storm sewers with an anticipated start time of late spring or early summer.
According to a city ordinance, any repair or reconstruction of South Broadway must be completed in brick.
In order for South Broadway not to be replaced with more red brick, 60 percent of the property owners — at least 18 — must sign a petition and present it to the Clerk of Council saying they want the street to be reconstructed in an approved material other than brick.
“The installation of brick pavers on top of a concrete street costs significantly more than installing a typical concrete-only street,” city Engineer Pat Patton wrote in the letter. “By my estimate, the brick-pavers street may be more than twice the cost of a concrete-only street.”
As such, residents were presented with three options and the associated cost of each.
- Option 1: Typical residential pavement with 8 inches of reinforced concrete with a budget estimate of $200,340 with no amount to be assessed.
- Option 2: Red brick pavers on 6 inches of reinforced concrete with a budget estimate of $433,134 that includes a potential amount to be assessed of $232,794.
- Option 3: Stamped and dyed concrete that would look like brick with a budget estimate of $244,978 with no amount to be assessed.
Medina Service Director Nino Piccoli said Wednesday that all homeowners who would have to potentially pay for the brick have been invited to a public meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the council rotunda at city hall, 132 N. Elmwood Ave.
“It is a special meeting for the folks specifically that live on South Broadway Street that are affected,” Piccoli said.
The assessment would be based on cost per square foot of road frontage and will be charged an estimated $109.81 per foot of road frontage, meaning the wider the lot, the higher cost each homeowner could be responsible for. The $7,760 figure is an average for property owners on the street.
This stretch of South Broadway is 1,060 feet long with total road frontage of 2,120 feet.
Patton said if City Council passes a resolution of necessity to assess property owners to replace the brick, homeowners would have
15 days to file a petition. Right now, Patton said it is still in the discussion phase.
Piccoli said that while he understands the historical significance of a brick street and the aesthetics it provides, as service director, he is in favor of more traditional paving.
“Bricks may or may not present a maintenance challenge because this is Northeast Ohio, and if you look around you don’t see a lot of brick-paved streets that are driven on with vehicular traffic,” he said. “Most of those streets are either concrete or asphalt in Northeast Ohio.”
Piccoli said the city really does not have a good way to gage the lifespan, or potential issues arising from a new brick roadway.
“I know what happens with a snowplow on a regular city street, I don’t know what kind of challenges face a snowplow with a brick street,” he said.
Homeowners Randy and Helen Greenya have already gotten 11 signatures of residents against the red brick, as of 1 p.m. Wednesday.
“My main concern is that I don’t want to pay,” Randy Greenya said.
He said several residents have told him they are not in favor of paying the $7,760.
The street is currently like an “obstacle course,” with patches of asphalt used to fix damaged areas of brick, Greenya said.
“I don’t see it going back to brick,” Greenya said.
Piccoli said the project would be a full-scale street reconstruction project.
South Broadway Street resident Diana Fox said she believes the issue is greater than just the 30 residents living on the street.
“I am just concerned that there are only two brick roads left in the city and that we tout ourselves as being a historic city and we are essentially leaving a major decision to 30 property owners who have their pocketbooks to consider,” Fox said.
Fox said she believes the issue should be a community decision, and not come down to the street residents.
“If indeed, they wanted to bring it to the voters and let the whole city of Medina make a decision about how to handle our two remaining brick roads, I would be fine with that, whatever the outcome,” Fox said.