City of Eaton releases annual Asst. City Mgr report

Highlights 2020 projects, looks forward to 2021

By Braden Moles -

EATON — The City of Eaton’s annual Assistant City Manager Report, prepared by Assistant City Manager Joe Ferriell, highlighted projects completed in 2020 and what the city can look forward to in 2021.

Safe Routes to School began in August 2016 and aims to encourage and enable students in grades K-8 to walk or bike to school.

“We applied for a $400,000 grant and were rewarded a smaller grant of $200,000 in August 2018,” the report reads. “Continued working on final details with ODOT through 2019. The project will be completed in FY 2021 and will include a new sidewalk along St. Clair Street between South Cherry Street and South Maple Street. It will include new crosswalk marking at three intersections; also, will include curb bump-outs at the entrance to the elementary schools on Aukerman Street.”

Estimated construction costs will be $139,656.50, and construction will begin July 12, with an expected completion date of Oct. 12, though it is expected to be completed sooner.

Work was also done to trim and remove deteriorated trees and stumps from city property, as well as continued work with MVL energy to report street lighting problems, with the end goal being a three-day turnaround on any street lighting problems. Additionally, city streetlights were updated to LED lights in 2020.

Improvements have also been made at Seven Mile Park and Fort St. Clair, as well as the cleaning out of Crystal Lake for the first time since 2004.

“Once we received the required permitting then the Public Maintenance Department started their work in clearing out the lake,” the report reads. “Because all the work was done in-house, the cost was kept at a minimum and done ahead of schedule.

The Municipal Paving Program was completed with the following roads and alleys being worked on for a total of $450,469:

The alley that runs parallel with West Main, between West Main, and Richmond Pike, by YMCA intersection of U.S. 35 and U.S. 122; W. Chicago St. between N. Barron and Park Ave; Somers St. between N. Barron and Walnut; Wayne Ave. between E. Main and Bruce School; remainder of East Ave. from Lexington Road to City Corp Line; Meadowbrook from E. Main to Snapdragon; Goldenrod from Meadowbrook to Snapdragon.

Projects planned for 2021 and beyond include the Maple Street Grant for reconstruction, municipal paving and sign replacement.

The Maple Street Grant is being done through a Small City Grant the city applied for in 2020. With the grant, alongside ODOT funding, Maple Street is eligible for total reconstruction from Main Street to Eaton-Lewisburg Road.

The project will total $2,537,401 with $1,682,389 coming from the Small City Grant, another $192,064 from ODOT and $855,012 from the city. Construction should be around $2.1 million.

Total length is about 2,225 feet from Mechanic Street to Lexington Avenue, and construction is expected to be completed in 2024.

“This will improve pedestrian safety by replacing sidewalks/curb ramps and adding sidewalks where it is currently missing on both sides of the street,” the report reads. “Widen street to provide on-street parking. Reconstruct pavement, and curb and underdrains, and install new storm sewer to replace original storm infrastructure. This will repair distressed pavement and enhance pavement life for roadway in the future. Provide better access to two parks on Maple St. as well.”

Construction is also planned for approximately 2,300 lineal feet of sidewalk in the area of Eaton and Miller Avenue, and will be done in conjunction with the municipal paving for 2021.

Work will also be done to evaluate and make any necessary changes to traffic control signs throughout the city that may be incorrectly located or do not meet requirements for retro-reflectivity and illumination.

On the economic development front, the report also notes that local businesses continue to hire, with their main concern being the availability of workforce.

“Workforce seems to be the number one concern from employers again in 2020; therefore, the ongoing efforts will continue from the Preble County Development Partnership Workforce Committee. We will continue working into 2021 on several customer-focused retention and expansion visits with the partnership of the Preble County Development Partnership Director Brenda Latanza, PCDP and BusinessFirst!, which helps give a business owner a single point of contact for a wide range of assistance and resources that are available from local, county, regional, state and federal agencies.”

The report goes on to say that 80 percent of job growth in Eaton comes from businesses already located in the community.

Numerous additions were also made to manufacturing facilities in Eaton, including Neaton (150,000 square feet), Henny Penny (150,000 square feet) and TimkenSteel (38,000 square feet).

Highlights 2020 projects, looks forward to 2021

By Braden Moles

Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @BradenMoles

Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @BradenMoles