Council discusses paving in workshop

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 9, 2005

DEMOPOLIS-For years the City of Demopolis has struggled with ways to get all the necessary paving done for city streets. At Thursday’s budget work session the topic again came to the front.

Each council member was in agreement that paving needed to be done. However, the problem has been where to get funding. Paving is not an item that can be placed in the budget because it is impossible to estimate how much will be needed and how much can be done. Regardless, the council agreed they needed to take a close look at some of the places in need and explore their options.

Councilman Thomas Moore expressed concerns about paving issues

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“I want to be reasonable, but I want to see something done,” Moore said. “I don’t want to put the city’s finances in jeopardy, but I would like to see us get some of that paving done.”

Councilman Woody Collins said he agreed with Moore on the issue.

“We don’t want to jeopardize our city budget, but it is time to do it,” Collins said. “It is time to hit a lick on that.”

The problem is when to begin paving. Most felt it would be best to take the issue on a wait and see basis. Collins said if they commit money to paving now and find themselves short it could create an ugly situation.

“A lot of times what can happen is you set aside so much to do,” Collins said. “Then come January you can only do half of it. I just feel like this can become a nightmare if we commit to so much and then have to back off.”

Councilman Melvin Yelverton said he agreed they needed to see where this years funding takes them. He said they should stay focused on the project after they have the opportunity to assess the city’s funds.

“I feel like we could have a ladies and gentlemen’s agreement,” Yelverton said. “I feel like we could go with this and come January if we can do it we can take a certain amount. Maybe we can do more, maybe we can do less, but come January we should plan on doing some paving if we can afford to.”

Moore also said the city should not let the issue be pushed to the back. He said they needed to be as responsible with their funding as possible, but still needed to see to it some paving was done.

“We need to be realistic with the money,” Moore said. “What I am looking at is a commitment to do something.”

Collins said he wanted to make no mistake about his stand on the issue.

“The long and short of it is I am committed,” Collins said. “We need to get the paving done regardless of where it is.”

Demopolis Mayor Cecil P. Williamson summarized everyone’s sentiment and put it into a possible plan.

“From the conversations I have heard around the room it is my understanding that we will propose a resolution in January,” Williamson said. “Then we will look at putting x-amount of dollars toward paving and then we will see proceed from there with the proposal for our streets and meeting with an engineer. That process would not begin until January.”

Al council members agreed they should start getting a plan together now and take a close look at their funding in January.