Heritage Lake looking for road solutions
At last month's Putnam County Commissioners meeting, residents from Heritage Lake appeared asking for help in getting nearly 30 miles of roads paved and repaired.
The group presented an option for the county to take out a bond to pay for approximately $3 million, which is the cost estimate given to pave the roads in second largest populated area in Putnam County.
The cost for that bond spread out over 20 years would be $222,000 a year for the county.
"This is just one option. We would like you to contact the person listed on this proposal and secondly want you to consider our offer to work with you to get a bond," Dan Antico told the group at that meeting.
In response to their request, Commissioners invited Tom Pittman to come and speak about economic improvement districts and funding for them.
"Economic Improve-ment Districts are driven by members of an area who have an interest. They have to be very actively involved," explained Pittman.
A petition has to be filed requesting the improvement district that has been signed by a majority of owners (51 percent). The petition has to include a detailed description of the project, cost estimates and a financial plan.
A three-member board must be set up, and two of the three must be property owners.
The creation of an Economic Improvement District can create revenue payable by assessments to property owners. Financing can be set over a long period of time to make payments more manageable.
The sewer system at Heritage Lake was financed over 10 years in a similar manner some time ago.
"I'm in favor of having road improvements. We're left with paying for it out of our own pockets but it's up to the membership to decide. We have 3,000 lots," said Harold Paetow with the Homeowners Association.
Commissioner Gene Beck told the group that the county has concentrated on keeping Heritage Drive, the main road in the area in A-one shape.
Of the 30 miles of roads, 22 miles need resurfacing or work outside of Heritage Drive.
"If we do this then the county needs to maintain the roads. Does the county have the funds for that?" asked Paetow.
So far, there isn't an answer to that question as funds are limited for road repairs now.
The amount of money needed to fund the Heritage Lake project is about the amount commissioners have to spend for the whole county.
"We have to pay salaries, trucks and stones out of that fund. We just can't spend all our money in one area," said Beck.
Commissioner Jim Baird suggested that Pug be used instead of hot asphalt because it lasts and is less expensive.
At the current bid the Heritage Lake group has, it will cost $150,000 a mile for asphalt. Pug costs only $50,000 a mile according to Dave Sutherlin with the county highway department.
"It also doesn't crack easily and if it does it seals itself back together," commented Beck.
"Someone needs to put together some financials," added Pittman. "People can tell more and be more willing if they know an amount. That's the first thing to do, then you need a petition."