Amelia public works project is underway

The first phase of the new Amelia Public Works and storage facility commenced last week.

Considering six bids for the first phase of the proposed new facility, Council awarded the $105,000 contract to Perkins Carmack Construction, LLC; they started clearing the land to build the village’s new salt storage and maintenance facility the week of Nov. 6.

Phase one is the land clearing, phase two will be the actual construction.

Mayor Mark Menz said that the time for the new facility was long overdue.

“The village has had the same maintenance facility since 1955,” he said. “The critical piece for us was getting the salt facility built quickly; the village has never had one.”

For 50 years, the village has had to buy bags of salt and then pour them into hoppers, a time consuming and cumbersome process, Menz said.

“Then 10 years ago, we started buying salt from the county engineer’s office,” said Menz. “That was also time consuming and expensive. We would have to continually run to Batavia and pick up the salt. When it ran out, we would have to repeat the process. We would be dealing with this a couple of hours at a time, taking away from the time that we needed to be clearing the streets.”

Another hindrance, the Clermont County Engineer’s Office has only a limited amount of salt available for sale.

All of this prompted council to explore opportunities to build its own salt storage and maintenance facility.

The new building will be three times larger than the current public works building which sits behind the municipal building on Main Street.

Council’s first action was buying the property off Chapel Road for a cost of $23,000; since the site is just outside village limits, council annexed it into the village.

Phase one, the land clearing for the new 16,000 square foot public works facility, is expected to be completed by Jan. 15, 2007.

The salt storage facility will contain two bays that will hold two hundred tons of salt; the village currently averages 20 to 30 tons a year.

The actual construction of the new facility is not scheduled to begin until early next year. In addition to salt storage facilities, the new publicworks facility will contain all street department and maintenance services, park services, equipment and supply storage, and ample parking.

“At this time, council has rejected all bids for phase two, so we will re-bid it out in a couple of months” said Menz. “Phase two (construction) will begin only after a bid is accepted by council.”

Council is hoping to have phase two completed by December of 2007.

“We will get this done for the residents of Amelia,” Menz said. “We will soon be able to get our streets cleaned quicker, easier, and better – Amelia annexes four to six streets a year. Having our own salt storage and public works facility will reduce the time to clear streets from eight hours to four hours. Beyond that, all public works services that the village provides will be more effective.”