To put it mildly, maintaining the roadways and byways of any community can be a delicate subject for residents. Pauls Valley is no exception to this rule as difficult decisions will again have to be made for the 2014-2015 fiscal year.
This as usual is due to limited resources and the high cost of road work, all dealing with more streets than can be addressed in one year.
However, City Manager James Frizell recently noted that while they did not get as much done last year as they wanted, there will be a bigger push this time around.
“There will be a focus put on resurfacing streets. That will be one of our major budget priorities this year,” said Frizell.
“It will cost a lot of money to do a limited number of streets, but there will be a focus put on rebuilding some of the streets.”
Frizell took some time to note the biggest factor that hampered the road repair process was spending more time figuring out ways to keep Pauls Valley General Hospital open.
This included overseeing the changes in management, making sure proper financial processes were being put in place and the promotion as well as passage a related half cent sales tax that will start collecting this summer.
“We hope with the passage of the half cent sales tax we’ve got that behind us,” said Frizell.
“We can work toward getting some of the other projects we’ve laid out, getting those finished.”
As the year progresses, Frizell will discuss with council members the roads constituents bring before them and approve work depending on the most pressing need and severity of wear.
He will also depend upon input from his street supervisor as he reexamines both neighborhoods and well-traveled thoroughfares.
The final budget has yet to be approved by council members, but the amount allocated this time around is $1 million. That is twice what the city usually puts toward such projects, which is because of the build up from last year.
All of the work will be resurfacing projects, be it chip and seal or asphalt. It comes from half of a one penny sales allocated to road improvements.
“The budget’s already built in for street projects. Obviously it won’t go all the way,” said Frizell.
“There’s going to be a huge input from councilors as to what streets are a priority that need to be fixed immediately.”
Editor’s note: An article discussing overall sales tax revenue and how the city fared will be featured in a future edition of the Democrat.