Lorain motorists complain about road conditions; Mayor Ritenauer pledges millions in repairs

Road resurfacing to be funded by income tax hike

LORAIN, Ohio - Lorain residents who have been waiting patiently for badly needed road repairs, will finally get their wish starting this coming spring.

A large part of the funding for road resurfacing will come from money generated by the half-percent income tax increase, approved by Lorain voters in November.

The move is music to the ears of Lorain motorists like Terry Johnson, who told NewsChannel5 his vehicle has been under a pothole attack over the past year.

"Mayor Ritenauer to hope you fix these streets," shouted Johnson. "This is my third alignment I had to get, so I hope you do something about it."

Mayor Ritenauer admitted the city of Lorain is more than $40 million behind in road resurfacing, but stressed up to $15 million in repairs are on the way.

"It will be orange barrel city in the city of Lorain during the spring and summer construction season in 2013," said Mayor Ritenauer.

Mayor Ritenauer will announce which roads will be repaired first, during an evening city council committee meeting on Feb. 25.

City council will consider legislation that would allow the city to use funds from the income tax increase to purchase bonds, generating even more road repair dollars.

"We're so far behind right now, so we need to make a big splash, and the way to do that is to go out into the bond market," explained Mayor Ritenauer. "It's a competitive time to borrow money, so we are having a committee meeting to discuss enacting legislation to go out into the bond market."

Mayor Ritenauer told 5 On Your Side main roads will get the funding first, streets that are worst ranked and most traveled. 

A significant number of water lines will also be replaced along with the resurfacing projects.

Meanwhile, residents like Heather Guggenbiller hope neighborhood streets will soon be on the repair list.

I'm constantly getting the front end on my car fixed," said Guggenbiller. "I just paid over $600 two months ago, so please use some of those dollars in our neighborhoods."

NewsChannel5 and newsnet5.com will post the list of streets on the repair list, as soon the list becomes available.

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