During a budget works session this morning, streets that need to be paved within the city sparked a big discussion. A number of streets were mentioned that the council agrees need to be paved, but what it comes down to is being able to have the money and to be able to purchase asphalt, which, according to Councilman Weston Lindemann, is currently costing about $80 per ton.
“Right now we have no figure on exactly what we need. We could probably spend as much money as we can get on paving at the present time, but of course we can’t do that. There’s limits on the budget, we’re probably going to have to raise taxes somewhat to get to that money. We’re trying to transfer some more money into the Public Works Department so we can do some more paving. How much, we’re not sure right now,” says Dr. George Thomas who is Councilman for Ward 1.
It has been suggested in the past that the city have an outside team come in and survey the streets to determine which ones should be paved first. However, the council decided this morning to put that idea aside, considering it would cost the city $200,00 to bring the team in, and the council would like to use that money in other ways.
Weston Lindemann says, “yeah, I think that’s a great idea as opposed to paying $200,000 for this paving index. We could instead utilize our own resources and information to figure out which roads to be prioritize. You can pretty much go around the city and figure out what are the worst roads.”
The council says it will look into this in a work session and possibly have the Public Works Department ride along with each council member in their ward to survey the streets.