MOUNT VERNON — Rain disrupted work scheduled in the Utilities, Parks and Street departments this week.
However, Utilities Director Mathias Orndorf said they were still able to get residents in the Parrott Street project area connected to the new water line, although it did take longer than expected.
However, no sooner had that been accomplished than an old galvanized water line on South Main Street south of the construction area broke. A crew was working on it Friday.
In the Parks Department, Superintendent Dave Carpenter said the rain had put mowing and trimming efforts behind schedule and there has been little progress this week on the accessible playground project at Memorial Park.
In the Street Department, Superintendent Tom Hinkle said a couple large branches fell on Pennsylvania Avenue Monday, blocking the street and damaging a Century Link pole and cable. Hinkle said they kept the street closed overnight, until a contractor could remove the remaining tree, because it was too dangerous to leave standing. Hinkle said a path was kept open to an alley so residents could get on and off the street.
Two shade tree dedications are planned for Sunday and Monday, Carpenter said. The first will take place at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday in West Foundation Park. The tree will be dedicated to the memory of Van Ross Wade, the late owner of Wade and Gatton Nurseries in Bellville.
The second dedication will honor former city council member John Fair and will take place at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Arch Park.
Carpenter said the Engineering Department has completed a preliminary drawing for the mini park at Madison and Marion streets. No construction plans have been made yet, but the drawing includes a basketball court, a small picnic pavilion and green space for soccer or other games. Fencing, trees and other amenities are also planned.
Court probation volunteers will be working on weeding and mulching tree boxes on East High Street this morning. If enough people are available, they will also work on mulching and weeding at the C.A.&C. Depot.
Hinkle said preparations were made at the end of the week to replace a drainage tile on Bradwack Street early in the week.
Traffic signal battery back-ups were installed at Mount Vernon Avenue, Upper Gilchrist Road and Vernon View Drive, although Vernon View is not yet working.
Crews also did some repair work to concrete damage at Dry Creek Bridge, probably by a snowplow, and began work on the low areas on North Mulberry.
“We went down about four feet to make sure there was no cistern or anything causing the problem,” Hinkle said. “We refilled it with aggregate and will let that settle before we reset the bricks.”
City Engineer Brian Ball said plans have been prepared for building the Mount Vernon Avenue bridge in stages so as to all traffic to be maintained through construction. That will be done by taking down the south side of the bridge, rebuilding it, then taking down the north side and rebuilding it. He said they hope to take bids on the project in the spring and start construction by June 1. Construction is expected to take about a year.
The project has a price tag of about $6.5 million, with the city paying about $2 million.
On Parrott Street, Ball said, now that the water line work is done, the city can start on the sewer work on Main Street.
Ball also reported Friday that Small’s Paving will begin work Monday on McGibney Road. They will be doing a chip seal surface using crushed limestone. The city will be doing the section in the township as well as the city in an informal agreement that involved the paving of Glen Road by the township.
Mayor Richard Mavis said the city will have to rebid the contract for obtaining two new police cruisers. The mayor said the city received no bids this week to supply two new Explorers for cruisers, and the 2018 model is no longer available and the 2019s are not yet available.
Mavis said they will rebid the contract, but expand the specifications to include the Chevrolet Tahoe model that has been used as a police cruiser elsewhere.
“We had to make sure it would fit in the garage once a light bar was attached,” the mayor said.
In observance of Fire Prevention Week, the Mount Vernon Fire Department will hold an open house from 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 10 at the fire station at 200 W. Gambier St.
There will be firehouse tours, tool and equipment displays, activities and handouts for kids and adults, Sparky the Fire Dog Robot, a gigantic bounce house, an Air Evac helicopter, a smoke house, drawings for free home fire equipment, snacks and light refreshments.