The Augusta City Council approved its street overlay program for 2013 after some disagreement Monday night.
The program is funded by a special sales tax dedicated to road repair. The city also has a Street Sales Tax Committee that oversees the program and hosts public meeting to develop a recommendation of which streets should be repaired with the money.
Councilor Mike Wallace wasn't sure about the list Monday night. He was concerned about some of the streets that were left out and wasn't sure about some that were included.
"We just got this Thursday night and I haven't had time to get to every street on the list," Wallace said. "I would like to table this until the next meeting to get more information on these streets."
He made a motion to table the program for two weeks. Mike Martin seconded the motion.
One of the streets in question was Gregg Street. It is already in a state of disrepair and could see a lot of additional traffic during the upcoming renovation of the Kelly and Ohio Intersection just a few blocks north.
Mike Huddleston suggested that Gregg Street could be added to the alternate list which would put it in line to be completed if funds are available after the recommended projects are completed.
"I don't want it as an alternate. I want it done," Wallace said. "But I haven't had enough time to look at these other streets to see which ones I want taken out."
Mike Rawlings took exception to Wallace wanting to change the plan put forth by the committee the governing body appointed to make these recommendations.
"In the last year or two, every time we get an advisory group together, we try to jerk it back out of their hands and say they're idiots," Rawlings said. "I have had several people tell me they won't serve on these committees any more."
Wallace said he believes the committee does a good job for the most part, but he believes the council's role is to make the final decision.
"They give us advice but our role is supervisory," he said.
Mayor Kristey Williams pointed out that the committee's work had been discussed at two public forums that the council could have attended if they had concerns.
Larry Henry, an engineer from MKEC, said significant delays could increase the project costs because the further you get into the construction season, the higher prices go in a typical year.
The motion to table the committee's recommendation for two weeks failed 6-1 with Wallace as the only vote in favor of tabling the issue.
Henry also said he did not like the idea of improving a street that could be torn up quickly by having extra traffic directed to it by another construction project, which might happen to Gregg Street during the Kelly and Ohio intersection project.
Page 2 of 2 - Wallace made an additional motion to add Gregg St. as an alternate and approve the plan as presented with that addition. Huddleston seconded that motion which passed 4-3 with Sue Jones, Matt Childers and Rawlings voting against the issue. Ron Reavis was absent Monday night, allowing four votes to approve an item.
The streets included in the plan are:
• Oak Street between 4th and 6th Streets.
• The entrance to Knebler Addition off of Ohio St.
• Josephine between Robbins and Dearborn
• Colonial Dr. between Ranchwood and Woodland
• Broadway between West and Lulu.
• and maintenance work around the city.
The alternate list now includes:
• Gregg St. between Dearborn and Ohio
• Quail Dr. between Ranchwood and Woodland
• Alice St.
• and West St between Clark and Broadway.
On the Oak Street project, MKEC recommended a separate bid to include an experimental new type of paving process called roller compacted concrete. There will be a savings to the city for this process because it is a demonstration project and is not widely used yet.
Huddleston asked about the reliability of the new process.
"We don't want to have to do this again in five years," Huddleson said.
Henry said there would be a two year guarantee on the product which should allow enough time for the city to determine if the new street is performing as it should.