ASHLAND — A gaping sinkhole is getting the attention of Ashland City Council.
Council has given Ashland officials the green light to pursue state grant money to replace a culvert along Main Street that failed earlier this year, triggering the situation.
The sinkhole, caused by heavy rains in May, is only one that has developed on the properties. One of them formed around 40 years ago, according to Lloyd Gibbons, owner of JR’s Custom Exhaust.
But the sinkhole in May spurred the city to action, leading to its acquiring of four properties occupied by JR’s and Chad’s Collision and Auto Repair for a combined total of $190,000.
Since the June transaction, contractors fixed a sinkhole but another smaller one has formed and the city discovered some title issues on the properties.
The new sinkhole is located in front of a white building directly behind JR’s Custom Exhaust. Miller said the parcel is owned by the McQuate family, who has agreed to turn over ownership to the city by the end of September.
Officials did not know how much the grant application from the Ohio Public Works Commission would ultimately come to. But the project — which involves demolishing multiple buildings in order to rebuild an entire culvert — will not be cheap, Mayor Matt Miller said.
Council unanimously authorized city officials to pursue the grant money — both for the culvert project and for a traffic signal upgrade at the intersection of U.S. Route 42 and Mifflin Avenue.