Ross Township Commissioners voted 8-1 Monday to advertise and receive bids for its 2013 road-paving project.
Commissioner David J. Mikec voted no, telling his fellow board members the township needs to invest more in road maintenance.
"I think it falls short of what we need," Mikec said. "Based on prior budgets that this board put out in the last few years, we've become increasingly behind the ball and not meeting the standards."
The township budgeted approximately $1-million for paving in 2013. Public works director Mike Funk comes up with a priority list of which roads would be paved first, explaining that it would take five years to get to every road on the list.
One avenue on the list, in particular, caught Mikec's attention.
"I passed around photos of a road in the 6th ward, Forest Avenue, which is in deplorable condition. It's 32nd on the list," he said. "If we have 31 roads in this township in worse conditions than that I think we really need to make a step forward and I can't with a clear conscious vote for this year's paving program just because of its shortcomings."
Funk appeared to share Mikec's frustration.
"Most of the roads on this list were on the list last year," he said. “Any list I give you will be arbitrary, everybody sees things differently.”
Prior to the vote, Commissioner Daniel DeMarco chided his colleagues for being afraid to raise taxes to improve the roads.
"When I was up for re-election two years ago, I was out campaigning, and that was the year we raised taxes, I did not have one person complain to me about the fact that the township raised taxes," he said. "You know why? Because they realized that it had to be done and they were getting the services they were entitled to and that we're obligated to provide."
Tell us what you think. Would you support a tax increase to have more Ross Township roads paved each year? Which roads do you think should be a priority for this year? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.
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