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May 1, 2013

New Albany paving priorities, request for info leads to debate



After Benedetti left the meeting, other council members discussed how the city should compile a list of paving needs to be submitted to Thompson. 

Councilman Scott Blair said the city should prioritize paving based on needs, but that it makes sense for council members to submit streets in their own district “just because we naturally travel on those.” 

The council agreed to each member providing Thompson with a list of streets that could be paved. There was discussion about how the process could seem political if it’s based only by district. 

“It seems very political, and whether it’s intended to be, it appears that way,” Councilman Greg Phipps said. 

Thompson added that residents will question why a certain street or alley was paved instead of the road they live along. 

The streets that have been proposed so far by the administration were based off a 2008 study conducted by the city. 

The roads that weren’t resurfaced during that effort were included in the current list based on condition. 

The council discussed possibly updating the study, which administration officials estimated would cost up to $30,000. 

Thompson and Coffey stressed that time is of the essence if several streets are to be paved this year. The council agreed to submit paving requests to Thompson and to have him present a new list based on those recommendations and the past study. 

There are some projects that will likely have to be footed by a different revenue source to cover costs. 

Councilman Bob Caesar said Old Vincennes Road is in need of resurfacing, but added it could cost up to $1 million due to the condition of the street. 

Bono Road was also mentioned by Councilman John Gonder due to decay in a portion of the street. Due to the potential scope of the work, administration officials said repairing Bono Road is also a project that will have to be considered aside from the $2 million EDIT pledge. 

The council still must vote to appropriate the $2 million in EDIT before bids can be accepted and a contractor is hired for paving. The council’s next meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. on Monday. 

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