Mayor changing paving plans

Published 2:30 pm Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mayor Billy Spiers announced to the Poplarville board of aldermen last week he is changing plans concerning repaving city streets due to the situation with the economy and the burdens already being placed on taxpayers.

That announcement came Tuesday evening as the subject of a streets bond issue was discussed among board members.

“There’s no way we can ask taxpayers to pay over a million dollars for street paving,” Spiers told aldermen.

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The mayor explained he believes the city can prioritize street repairs based on the condition and the traffic frequency on those streets. Obviously, the most traveled streets with the most problems would be considered for repairs first.

Aldermen agreed that the costs for the street repairs will hold great weight as to which direction they will go. Spiers estimates that by taking an alternate route to the streets’ situation, the total cost for repairing streets would be close to $500,000, as opposed to a $1.2 million price tag for repaving all of the streets.

Bill Winborn asked the mayor if the city could put down a new, larger water line on Main Street at the same time street repairs are done. The city has had plans to replace the Main Street line for some time in addition to adding new fire hydrants.

Shirley Wiltshire and Dr. John Grant both agreed it made sense to add the new water line during the street project since the street will be torn up anyway.

Although Spiers suggested using money borrowed from its certificates of deposit to pay for the water addition, no action was taken that evening. The city’s engineers will have to do an analysis of costs before the board will take action to proceed with the streets’ renovation project.

In other activities, the board:

— Voted to set Halloween curfew for 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31.

— Approved police chief Charles Fazende and officer Clayton Hester to attend two separate training conferences.

— Approved hiring of police investigator John Kramer as code enforcement officer.

The Poplarville board of aldermen meets at 5 p.m. the first and third Tuesdays of the month at City Hall.