Marysville is asking people to report potholes, like these on the ramp from state Route 31 onto U.S. 33. (Photo submitted)
Residents urged to report hazards
A sure sign of spring moving to summer is the emergence of potholes.
“As we come out of winter, it seems like a lot more potholes pop up,” said Marysville Public Service Director Jeremy Hoyt.
He said the city relies on residents to help identify where those potholes are popping up. He said city residents should approach reporting potholes the same as they do crime — if you see something, say something.
“Our guys can’t be everywhere all the time,” Hoyt said. “If you see something that maybe is not meeting our level of service, we want to know so we can get out there.”
Hoyt said potholes in public streets can be reported by contacting the public service department at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 645-7350.
He said city crews will “put in a temporary fix until the road can be repaired” adding that “we try to deal with these as quickly as possible.”
The city also regularly schedules a street maintenance crew to drive residential areas in search of potholes. Officials have said patching potholes does not really fix the street, but it does make the ride smoother.
He said that by the time potholes begin appearing on a street, it is likely already on the radar for repair.
Hoyt said that for several years, the city crack sealing program was under funded. He said that program has returned fully funded for the summer. Crews will be driving the streets to look for and seal cracks in the road before they have a chance to become problems.
Officials have explained that crack sealing usually begins five to 15 years after a street is paved. The city has tried to have streets last about 25 years before they need replaced.
The city has more than 100 miles of streets and the public service department has tried to pave about 4% of them each year. Officials have said that if the city can create roads that last 25 years and can repave 4% of the streets each year, all city streets will be repaved as they approach the end of their life span.
Officials say that when a resident sends an email to the public service address, they get a confirmation response and a work order is created.
City officials said the pothole program and the public service email service does more than just address street issues.
In addition to reporting potholes, residents can use the email address to report poles in disrepair, street lights that don’t work, traffic signals that aren’t operating and a variety of other concerns.
Hoyt also explained that sometimes people will make a report, then get upset if they do not see the pothole fixed right away.
“There may be future projects and planning efforts behind the scenes that the city is working on that determines whether we perform the temporary or permanent solution,” Hoyt said.
He said that sometimes the state is planning a large repair and the city does not want to spend money to make the repair ahead of the state. Additionally, he said the city could have a road or utility project planned.
“We don’t want to repave it and curb it and then come back and need to do it again in a year or two,” Hoyt said. “We don’t want to have to rip it up and do it again. That seems like a waste of taxpayer dollars.”
For 2021, the city allocated $1.5 million for street repairs. Hoyt said the summer street paving program will begin “in the next several weeks.” The city will repave part or all of 23 different streets.
Earlier this year, City Project Manager Marc Dilsaver reported that 62% of the city streets are rated good and 11% are rated poor. Going into 2020, the city had 61% of streets rated good and 8% rated poor.
City officials have said it costs about $1.5 million annually to repave 4% of the city’s 101 miles of streets.
City Finance Director Brad Lutz said that while street paving is not glamorous, it is “one of the most needed” expenses in a community.
Lutz said he would support spending “as much as is reasonably possible” on paving.
City officials raised the annual license plate fee $10 over two years, beginning next year, to help generate revenue for street paving and other projects.