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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -
As crews are laying down fresh layers of asphalt along
Secor Road for a major reconstruction project between Central and I-475, the
City of Toledo has hired a project ombudsman to keep in touch with businesses
and others who want to stay informed about the work.
Councilman Tom Waniewski says the position was created
after the city took plenty of heat from a previous road project.
"We were getting a lot of complaints during the Sylvania
Avenue reconstruct and we thought there's got to be a better way to handle this
and be more proactive," Waniewski said.
The city is paying Steve Hamilton, a former city
engineering services administrator, $25 per hour, at 20 hours per week for 26
weeks, to send e-mails, handle phone calls and meet with people with concerns.
At the Charles Paul Salon, Cory Burghardt says the
ombudsman has already been a big help for their business.
"It's been very beneficial because it's a lot easier to
have one guy you can contact," Burghardt said. "He dropped off his phone
number, any questions or concerns we've had we've gone right through him. He's
been real prompt getting back to us. We did have a water main break, and when
the water went off he was quick to let us know a time when it was going to be
Waniewski says the extra expense is well worth it.
"$13,000 on a $6 million project. This was a great
investment and I've heard great feedback from businesses along Secor," he said.
"They're very appreciative of this ombudsman position."
The position is being built into the cost of the project,
which is expected to wrap up in November.