Mount Carmel BMA votes to spend up to $500,000 on paving

Jeff Bobo • Jul 24, 2013 at 11:24 PM

MOUNT CARMEL — At least $400,000 will be spent on paving Mount Carmel streets in 2013-14, although Mayor Larry Frost said Tuesday covering all the town’s needed paving would cost twice that amount.

The Board of Mayor and aldermen voted Tuesday to spend up to $500,000 from the town’s savings on an initial phase of paving,

“We need to do at least $400,000 worth of paving,” Frost told the Board of Mayor and Aldermen during Tuesday’s meeting. “We have that kind of funds available to do $400,000 without any question. After we get everything worked in here and see where we’re at with our new budget, then possibly we can come back and do another $400,000.”

Johnny Castle, director of public works, has compiled a priority list of streets in need of paving for the mayor. Based on current paving costs, Castle estimated the cost for all needed paving at $800,000.

The overall priority list includes Apache Lane, Bay Street, Birch Street, Brentwood Drive, Cedar Street, Cherry Street, Cypress Street, Daffodil Lane, Deerwood Drive, Dogwood Street, Greenview Street with cul de sac, Hemlock Street, Hickory Lane with cul de sac. Independence Avenue, Iris Way, Jefferson Avenue, Kaywood Avenue, Locust Street, Lotusview Street with cul de sac, Marshall Avenue, McGee Street. Old Hickory Circle, Redwood Street and Valley Lane.

Frost told the BMA he wants to hit the highest priority streets first. He said some of the worst streets are in the West Ridge neighborhood on the east side of town near Kaywood Avenue.

“I’ve looked at several of those streets up there, and then we’ve got Englewood in pretty bad shape,” Frost said.

Although Frost suggested waiting until Castle returns from a leave of absence to fine tune the priority list, Alderman Carl Wolfe said he has confidence in the 11 streets Castle has already identified as the highest priority.

Frost was only asking for $400,000 for the first phase of paving, but Vice Mayor Paul Hale made a motion to authorize paving not to exceed $500,000. Hale said that if the bid exceeds $400,000 the project will still be covered.

Alderman Leann Debord expressed concern about using that much of the town’s savings.

Town finance director Tammy Conner said there is $1 million held back in reserve to cover town expenses in an emergency as required by the state, which leaves about $400,000 excess.

“So if we spend $500,000 on paving, beside the (emergency million) we have to have, we’re broke,” Debord asked.

Conner replied, “It will be a while before you have any extra money to do paving with unless you decide to borrow money. It takes a while to build up $400,000. The mayor and I have discussed it, and he knows how much he has to play with.”

Hale’s motion was approved by a vote of 5-1, with Debord casting the only no vote.

Those paving funds aren’t listed in the 2013-14 budget, so a budget amendment ordinance must be approved before the funds can be appropriated.

Hale’s motion also didn’t mention advertising for paving bids. The BMA will also have to approve a resolution authorizing the paving bids to be advertised.

Frost told the BMA that after the initial paving is completed, if the budget will allow it, he may ask the BMA to approve the funds needed to complete Castle’s paving list.

Frost added, however, that the Cedar Street area won’t be paved this year. First Utility District is proposing to replace water lines in that area. First Utility may ask to utilize Mount Carmel’s state CDBG (community development block grant) to cover the cost of the water line replacement in that area next year.

In other business Tuesday the BMA:

•Agreed to participate in the Tennessee Municipal League’s Risk Management Pool “Safety Partners” loss control matching grant program. The grant will pay half the cost for new rain jackets, safety vests, lighted safety cones and stringer flashlights for the police department — estimated to cost between $4,000 and $5,000.

•Heard a report from Frost that the Army Corps of Engineers may cover the cost of a study on flooding problems in the Hammond Estates subdivision.

•Accepted a low bid of $80.66 per ton for road salt from American Salt.

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