ASHTABULA — City workers didn’t like the more-efficient Dura-Patch pothole machine because it had issues beyond their control, City Manager Jim Timonere said Thursday.
The workers, upset with how they were portrayed in an article in Wednesday’s Star Beacon, went to the city manager and explained how the material for the machine had to be hauled in from Pennsylvania.
Timonere was not the city manager at the time, and at Monday night’s pre-council meeting, said he was told the Dura-Patch was sold because the workers didn’t like it. He found that to be frustrating, he said.
After talking with the road crew, he said Thursday that he understands the situation better.
“The correct aggregate was not available locally. It should have been bought in bulk and stored locally,” Timonere said. “The emulsion needed special storage and treatment. It has a short window of useful life. We should have also purchased a storage tank that could be temperature controlled to keep it on hand and not have to drive all over the place for the 100 to 250 gallons the machine could store.”
Timonere said now he knows the inability to get the machine to work properly was not the workers’ fault.
“The machine was constantly down or in need of cleaning and repair,” he said. “They were told to park it and my guess is that is when (former city manager Anthony Cantagallo) decided to sell it.”
The machine was sold two years ago for $22,500 to Dover Township (near New Philadelphia, Ohio), but without legislation from council authorizing the sale of the equipment, Timonere said.
The money from the sale was put back in the permanent improvement fund, he said.
Timonere and the workers agree the Dura-Patch is an effective machine for filling the potholes.
“The problem, as I see it, is a salesman came in with this ‘save the world’ product and we did very little, if any, research to see if we could purchase and store the products needed to make it work,” Timonere said.