Former Mayor Speaks Out Against Railroad Bridge Project
Former Solon Mayor Bob Paulson told city council members they should rethink a proposal to spend nearly $1 million for aesthetic improvements to the SOM Center Road railroad bridge.
As city officials consider a project to enhance the look of the railroad bridge in the center of town, a former city official wants them to throw the idea on the scrap heap.
Former Solon Mayor Bob Paulson spoke out against the idea during the Oct. 15 City Council meeting and urged council members to slow down and reconsider.
The project, estimated to cost about $950,000, received an unanimous thumbs up by the safety committee and will be considered by the finance committee during budget planning for next year.
Paulson said there are better ways to spend taxpayer money.
"How many constituents have ever come to you and said we really need to spend $1 million on that railroad bridge?" Paulson said.
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The project is described by city officials as the final piece of the city's master plan in that part of the city, and would tie together with the look of the Solon Center of the Arts, Veterans Park and the fire station.
The plan is to reface the retaining walls beneath the bridge and create a sort-of false facade that would improve the look of the bridge but not interfere with the ability to maintain or even use the railroad.
The city then intends to install electronic message boards on the bridge to replace the banners that have traditionally been hung on the bridge to publicize local groups and events.
Paulson said he likes the banners and that they provide Solon some smal town charm.
"You really need to rethink that and I would hope you would have better ways to spend taxpayers' million than something like this, especially if you have other priorities," Paulson said.
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