It's possible that a few people cursed about potholes in the darkness of a winter that had more freeze-thaw cycles than a Hollywood romance.

But Councilwoman Kristie Wilkin is shining a light on the four men of the village Street and Cemetery Department for the work they have been doing.

"I truly enjoy working with this team of individuals," said the chairwoman of Village Council's streets and cemetery committee. "They are very dedicated, give 110 percent every day, and take pride in all they do. They are continuously looking for ways to improve their function in the village."

Those efforts included attending a safety seminar staged by the Bureau of Workers' Compensation, and an eight-hour class on asphalt pavement given by the Ohio Department of Transportation earlier this month.

The latter included instruction on the best way to fill a pothole, according to Street Superintendent Travis Goodwill. He hopes patches will last longer now that he has adopted the four-step method: coat the hole with a tar-like binder, add the asphalt, compact the filling, and seal the top.

"We weren't sealing it before," he said.

The top seal is meant to prevent water from entering the patched area, where it will expand when it freezes and push the asphalt up.

Goodwill said he enjoys working for the village because it's the first outdoor job he had. He also likes the regular hours more than the swing shift he worked for 18 years at AK Steel in Coshocton. He picked up knowledge of the kind of work he does now by being around his grandfather's logging business and his uncle's excavating business. He restores Jeeps for fun.

Goodwill, who became the street superintendent in August, supervises a crew that consists of Chris Belt, assistant superintendent, and workers Bob Shepherd and Chris Harrah.

"They are the best crew we have ever had," said Wilkin, who sometimes drops off doughnuts for them in the mornings, and finds them working at 7 a.m.

"We've got a real good group," said Mayor Pat Cadle.

"We are now out of the financial emergency, and they have been able to get some good equipment," Wilkin said.

The village government emerged in 2016 from more than four years of fiscal emergency, a designation that resulted in the state providing planning assistance and supervision.

The department has $822,773 in its budget this year. Of that, $578,000 comes from a 10-year property tax levy for roads. The rest of the money comes from the state and motor vehicle license fees, according to Cadle.

In 2017, the paving projects were Park Hill Drive, Crestview Manor, part of Neighbor Street and General Street, according to Cadle. This year, Railroad Street, West Street and part of Canal Street are currently scheduled for paving. The street levy also pays for maintenance and repair of streets, alleys and storm sewers. The appropriation for salaries and benefits is $192,500 is in salaries and benefits. Street patching costs $10,000 to $12,000 per year.

Patching material used in warm weather costs about $58 per ton. The material used in colder weather costs about $70 per ton, according to Goodwill, who bought four tons on Thursday for filling potholes.

Goodwill and Wilkin agree that this winter's weather is responsible for the potholes being more numerous this year.

"They have filled them twice, but with this weather, they aren't holding," Wilkin said. "They are currently bidding on a machine that they will be able to use in bad weather and they will hold."

She said the crew also has a plan to replace part of N. College Street due to it being in need of more than patching.

"The cemeteries are immaculate, and they take pride in all they do within our village," Wilkin said. "I could not be any prouder of these guys, and of all the improvements being made within the village.

"The village as a whole has excellent associates in each department, and we also have a mayor, council, fiscal officer, and associates that listen to our citizens, and want the very best for our community."