MEDINA, Ohio — A battle to save a historic brick road in Medina hits high gear Tuesday evening when residents are expected to argue against potential hefty assessment fees.
The surface of South Broadway Street, which runs from Lafayette Road to Grant Street, needs to be replaced.
There are 30 homeowners on the street. Many of them plan to attend a 6 p.m. council meeting that is being held to discuss the future of the road, one of only two remaining brick streets in the city.
Several "SAVE OUR BRICK ROAD" signs are posted along Broadway, and a Facebook group has been created.
"It's not just a road. It's a piece of history and the history is the fact that its brick," said Elizabeth McComsey who lives on Broadway.
The city gave residents three options for the overhaul, but one could have them paying out of pocket for it.
- Option 1: Typical 8 inches of reinforced concrete at the cost of $200,340 with no property assessments
- Option 2: Stamped and dyed reinforced concrete with a brick pattern at the cost of $244,978 with no property assessments
- Option 3: Red brick pavers installed over 6 inches of reinforced concrete at the cost of $433,134 with possible assessments to homeowners
While the homeowners don't want concrete, the third choice is also not settling well because they were told the possible assessment fees could average $7,760 per homeowner.
"We don't want the brick road to leave. We desperately want it to stay, but we cannot be assessed to keep the brick," McComsey said.
Councilman Eric Heffinger said he wants the road to remain brick, but stressed the city has to figure how to pay for a new paver that would cost about $233,000 more than reinforced concrete.
"I guess we have to figure out first if we're going to keep this road brick. And then decide if we're going to charge it to the residents 100 percent for the brick part or if the city is going to take it 100 percent or if there's some middle ground," Heffinger said.
Medina historian Robert Hyde said his father "would turn over in his grave" if the brick road was replaced with concrete.
"My father in 1917, as a teenager in high school, helped build the original brick road. It was a dirt road before 1917," Hyde said.
Complicating the controversy, an ordinance passed in the 1980s states the road must remain brick unless 60 percent of Broadway residents sign a petition to change the design. The city has not received any such request.
Council President John Coyne expects Tuesday's meeting to last two hours with much of the discussion focusing on how to pay for a new brick road. He may propose an option that would split the additional cost of $233,000 between the city and homeowners.