CLE councilman, residents, believe resurfacing dollars unfairly distributed
CLEVELAND - Cleveland council member Michael Polensek believes 2018 city street resurfacing funds have not been distributed fairly.
Cleveland issued its list on how $10.5M in side street repaving money will be issued to the cities 15 wards this year.
Polensek said the list shows about 40% of the funds going to just 6 wards, all of the wards on the cities east side.
Polensek believes his Collinwood neighborhood is not getting its fair share of the city neighborhood resurfacing dollars, and said the cities relatively new street evaluation system is to blame.
Polensek said it's a system that utilizes an independent engineering firm to grade the quality of city streets, with streets graded in "F" condition picked for resurfacing in 2018.
"I would believe more in the Easter Bunny at this point," said Polensek.
"In fact the Easter Bunny is more credible than their rating system."
"How can you continue to say that only one section of the city has the worst streets."
Longtime residents in Polensek's Ward 8, like Stephanie Chaney, agree homeowners in the neighborhoods deserve to have a bigger voice in the street selection process.
"I don't think it's fair to what they're doing to all the different wards," said Chaney.
"People who live on the streets know what needs to be worked on, so they need to ask the residents who live on these streets."
In 2017, a News 5's investigation, "Broken Roads, Broken System," uncovered major issues with Cleveland's road evaluation and resurfacing plan.
Still, Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley believes the new street grading system is fair and equitable.
Kelley said under the new system the city is committing about $8M additional resurfacing dollars to Cleveland neighborhoods in 2018.
Kelley said residents are still welcome to give their input, if they feel the selected streets for resurfacing are incorrect.
"Every single ward is better off under the new system," said Kelley.
"If somebody calls my office, I will go out an look at their street, and if their street is worse than one of the ones that's been suggested, I'm going to swap it out."
Kelley said Cleveland street resurfacing is expected to start within the next 4 weeks, and that changes can still be made to the master repaving list.