The proposed paving plan includes six streets and 18,240 square yards in Anniston’s Ward 1, seven streets and 24,914 square yards in Ward 2, six streets and 11,626 square yards in Ward 3 and three streets and 5,023 square yards in Ward 4.
City Manager Don Hoyt noted that the majority of proposed projects are in west Anniston where streets have been used by heavy industrial equipment and are on lower ground elevations.
Anniston city engineer Kevin Ashley was one of the staff who from October to April evaluated every city road in order to rank them as “good,” “fair,” “poor” or “very poor.”
“Very poor” means the road is dangerously deteriorated with potholes, serious cracking and base coming up through the road, Ashley said. All of the streets on the city’s repaving list were rated”very poor.”
Hoyt told the councilmen that if the city followed the proposed plan all the city’s “very poor” streets would be fixed.
“We plan on trying to do those before Aug. 1,” Hoyt said. “We will go on next year, in the capital improvement plan and start doing the ‘poor’ streets and probably within four years, we’ll have all ‘good’ streets.”
But Councilman Ben Little complained that an alley he had heard complaints about was not on the list and that he personally knew of another street that was in worse shape than some of those on the list.
Councilman Herbert Palmore also complained that 17th Street was not on the list.
“The street is coming up in chunks,” Palmore said.
The engineering department hadn’t evaluated the alleys in the city yet, Hoyt said. The alleys get less use and the city was trying to get the “biggest bang for its buck” right now, Hoyt said.
“All of those streets will get their attention in due time,” Hoyt said.
“It’s due time now,” Little said.
He should have been included in making the list, Little said.
“I will take under advisement the advice of the engineers, but the engineers don’t really live there,” Little said. “The citizens do and I ride through those areas constantly and I’m listening to the people there.”
Many of the projects on the list are those requested by the councilmen, including Little and Palmore, Hoyt said.
But Hoyt said he wasn’t trying to be confrontational. If the councilmen wanted to make changes, he said, they could request them. However, if the city adds something that’s not on the list, something else is must be taken off to compensate, Hoyt said.
“We only have so much money to spend on this,” Hoyt said.
The city estimates it will receive about $258,000 in gasoline tax revenue and just under $279,000 from Community Development Block Grant funding for the projects. Even the streets on the list may have to wait if the funding doesn’t stretch that far, Hoyt said.
Mayor Gene Robinson said road paving projects should be added to the city’s five-year capital improvement plan in order to head off disagreements.
“Traditionally, across America, paving is a way to get re-elected,” Robinson said. “It’s going to be completed in August and I don’t like it. I don’t like it one doggone bit and that’s because to me, in my mind it’s associated with us trying to get re-elected.”
Councilman Jay Jenkins agreed.
“This whole discussion would go away if we’ll participate in this capital improvements plan and you’ve got an annual paving schedule project,” Jenkins said.
But Little disagreed.
“I don’t care if you pave on election day, the citizens deserve the paving,” Little said. “I don’t count it as an election ploy.”
The council members voted unanimously to table the plan until the next meeting. They will discuss it further at a work session on June 19.
In other business, council members:
-- Approved participating in the annual sales tax holiday on Aug. 3-5.
-- Approved a resolution asking for a postponement of leases for gas exploration in Talladega National Forest to give time to educate the public on the possible effects.
-- Approved 3-0 a liquor license to Blue Tavern at 1013 B U.S. Highway 431. Little and Dunn abstained from the vote.
-- Approved closing the streets around Zinn Park on Saturday for a community event sponsored by Ervin Funeral Home.
-- Appointed David L. Johnston alternate city public defender and Shaun Quinlan alternate city prosecutor.
-- Accepted bids from Teague Hauling for $7,500 and Emtek Mechanical for $32,500 for demolishing seven structures.
-- Accepted a bid from Triplett Paint and Decorating for $32,520 for one road-striping system.
Star staff writer Laura Camper at 256-235-3545.