Aldermen approve additional streets for improvements in 2019 project

Linda Trest
Staff Writer

Public Works Director Nick Grube had already received approval from aldermen to resurface several streets. 

West Springfield Avenue, South Pine Street and Bittersweet Drive were the major pieces of the 2019 project. One block on W. Fifth Street, from Pine to Walnut streets, was also included. 

At the regular meeting of the aldermen last Thursday, July 11,  Grube told the board he had some extra funds in the street account.  He asked for approval to add several more streets to the 2019 plan. These streets are all in the southwestern part of town, near Legion Park. 

The aldermen approved work for the additional streets.

Grandview, Clay, Mildred, Scrivner and West End streets will all be resurfaced this year, weather permitting. 

Grube told the board that N. B. West, the contractor who was awarded the bid for the work, is already running way behind in their street work. 

Once the expanded project is completed, most streets in town will have been repaved in the last several years. 

Some notable exceptions, such as most of Pine and Main streets still need work. So do a few streets on the city’s north side. 

In 2012, city voters approved a one-cent sales tax increase to help fund street improvements. Each year since then, a number of streets in town have been resurfaced. 

The sales tax increase is due to sunset, or expire, Dec. 31, 2020. That means  next year may be the last time the city can afford to resurface a large group of streets. Most of its budget will be spent strictly on maintenance. 

The  aldermen discussed at their last meeting if an extension of the sales tax increase should again be brought before the voters for approval. No decision was made, but the April 2020 ballot would probably be the most likely for the issue to appear.