A downtown business leader said he is “disappointed” that the city has elected to not pave the alley behind his Church Street business.
Leroy Strubberg, owner of Leroy A. Strubberg and Associates, said he has been asking several years for the city to upgrade the surface of the alley that runs north and south between Main and Locust streets. The alley is east of Church Street.
Strubberg has said that water runoff from the building located adjacent to the alley has flowed under the alley surface and damaged his parking lot that is adjacent to the alley. When he contacted a company to pave his parking lot, he was told to wait until upgrades are made to the alley to prevent water from getting beneath the surface of his lot and damaging the new surface.
Monday, the Union Personnel, Finance and Public Works Committee recommended the city make only minor repairs, including patching, and to ensure that there is a “good seam” between Strubberg’s parking lot and the alleyway after the lot is paved. Patching work already has been conducted.
Officials also suggested that aldermen walk the alley to better determine the condition of the roadway. If aldermen decide the alley should be repaired, that would come after Strubberg paves his parking lot, which is east of the alley.
Alderman Karen Erwin said the city should follow the recommendation of city staff members who agreed that there are other roads within the city that should be repaired before this alley.
“I’m disappointed. I just can’t believe it,” said Strubberg Monday during the meeting. “I’m just trying to keep my cool.”
He noted that there are about 50 cars per day that drive down the alley, and it also is used by pedestrians.
“This is something I have been asking for years to make it look nice,” Strubberg added. “If I spend the money on a lot to make it first class, it is going to make the alley second or third class.”
Aldermen Jim Albrecht and Dale Schmuke voted against Erwin’s recommendation.
“If we are going to do something, let’s just do it so he can make repairs to his parking lot,” Albrecht said.
City Administrator Russell Rost and Public Works Director Harold Lampkin said there is no damage to the subsurface of the alley and major repairs are unnecessary.
“We have other streets in worse shape, but if you want to do anything I would recommend you chip and seal,” said Lampkin.
Mayor Mike Livengood said he has examined the alley and agrees that major repairs aren’t required.
“I didn’t see a lot of damage,” Livengood said.
Strubberg said there are other alleys in Union that were in better condition than the alley that runs behind his business that had been paved, including an alley adjacent to Roosevelt Street and one that runs east of Hagie’s Nineteen.
Rost has explained that the paving on the alley adjacent to Roosevelt Street was done because curbing along Roosevelt Street was built under code many years ago. Stormwater was running against a house, and curb was redone to better control the water runoff.
Because the city repaved the alleyway entrance, crews paved the entire stretch of the alley.
Steve Hagedorn, owner of Hagie’s, said it has been 10 years or more since the alley by his building has been paved.