CAMDEN — Camden Village Council met with Doug Kramer of Kramer and Associates LLC. on Thursday, Nov. 17, during a regular village meeting. Kramer updated council on a number of ongoing projects throughout Camden, and answered questions from council.
Kramer began by assuring council that one of the two projects within Camden his company is responsible for, “the walking path,” is moving “full steam ahead” and expected to be bid out in the spring of 2023, pending ODOT (Ohio Department of Transportation) approval.
Members of council expressed their concern the projects in question have taken too long to be initiated, thereby jeopardizing the state granted funding to pay for them. The deadline for the funding was Aug. 31, 2023, by way of extension, according to members of council.
Not only is council concerned about the loss of funding, but members expressed their doubt that the projects will be completed by the estimated dates. “Is there any reason to believe that it will be done this time?” council member Kate Dusky questioned. Kramer insisted that the projects will be done by the projected dates, and that no loss of funding will occur.
“Yes, because we’ve done a lot of preliminary back-and-forth with ODOT,” answered Kramer.
Council member Debbie Hickman raised concern about the cost of ongoing projects, especially considering inflation. “How can we afford that?”
Kramer replied, “We’re just going to do it.”
Council member Kelly Doran expressed his opinion quite plainly, “The extension is a concern to me, but also the ability to pay is being inflated away while we’re all in this delay. That’s the thing that gets me, is that here we are this far in, this much time, all these delays, on and on and on, the costs have escalated. I don’t know how to factor it. So, you can get this thing extended as far out, but if you don’t have the money, you don’t have the money. So, what are we going to do?”
Kramer replied, the projects would be broken down into smaller, more manageable “segments” moving forward.
“Well, we bartered for the whole thing. And now if we’re going to be served half a plate, I’m not too thrilled about that. I’ll just tell you the truth.” Doran stated.
Kramer agreed that the delays are inconvenient and he understands council’s frustration, but maintains Kramer and Associates will use a 30-year-old business model of customizing client needs to complete the projects. Kramer added, he is grateful for the “little miracles” which have helped the process along thus far.
The projects have been ongoing for four years according to council member Jeff Steele, and are currently estimated to be bid for by beginning-to-early 2023.
“We just have to adjust a little bit, we’ve never had times quite like this,” stated Kramer.
Camden Village Council meetings are public meetings held on the first and third Thursday of each month, at 7 p.m. at Camden Town Hall.
Reach Nathan Hoskins at 937-683-4057.