At a City Council work session Monday, Code Enforcement director Eddie Bentley said the project should have $85,000 to $90,000 leftover in the budget, which would be used to repave Hillbrook Drive and portions of West Fifth Street, West Fort Williams Street and Bolton Avenue.
The council has already approved the additional streets, but needs further action to authorize city attorney Win Livingston to move forward on the plans with McCartney Construction of Gadsden, which is handling the paving.
Councilman and Mayor-elect Doug Murphree asked Bentley to be sure there was no large gravel used to repave in residential areas, as the gravel caused problems for citizens in the Cloverdale neighborhood when it was repaved earlier this year. Bentley said the gravel is only used when necessary to give the road a better foundation.
“There may be situations where it’s going to be the best thing for us to do,” he said. “In the case of homeowners cutting their grass, it could certainly cause some problems, but it’s going to give us a whole lot better road.”
The council is also considering adding portions of West Coosa Street to the project, if the budget allows.
Bentley added that the 20-street project is on the verge of completion.
“The rain is really slowing us down, or we would be finishing up tomorrow,” he said. “We’re finishing the shoulder work, and depending on the weather, we should be done this week.”
Also at the work session, the council discussed an ordinance to modify the duties and responsibilities of the Airport Board. The item has been on the agenda numerous times, but no action has been taken thus far. Accounting manager Karen Beane said the ordinance would basically clarify financial and other responsibilities between the city and the board to allow for a more efficient and streamlined process.
Councilman Walter Jacobson said he is in favor of bringing financial control back to the city, noting that the city has experienced communication issues with the Airport Board over the years.
Mike Landers, who lost the election for District 1 city councilman, told the council he is considering litigation if they do not take action to control the board.
“I have watched you all repeatedly ask for more information, ask for more cooperation, and it never comes,” Landers said. “I quite frankly think it’s an insult to each of you and to this body and this city that you can’t get any cooperation.”
Mayor Jim Heigl said cooperation with the board has improved in recent months.
Beane also gave a financial update. The city currently has a surplus of $529,505, but that is expected to dwindle next month. Revenue is currently at 95 percent of the budgeted amount with $12,659,829, and expenditures are at 91 percent at $12,130,000. The fiscal year ends Sept. 30.
The council meets tonight at 6.
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