Paving project draws rain on day one

By Bob Buckel | Published Wednesday, October 24, 2012

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The city of Decatur’s big paving project on Hale, Miller and Church streets has been on the books to start Monday, Oct. 22, for months.

So naturally, it rained that day.

Public Works Director Earl Smith reported to the City Council at their meeting Monday evening that the project was pared back on Monday due to the rain – but about half of it still went down and the rest was due for quick installation over the next few days.

“We cut our hot-mix order back, but we still got all the way down Hale and Miller, and we lack about two blocks coming back,” he said. “I drove it, and it drives good.”

Smith’s report also included a big shout-out to his crew for their work repairing a leak in the city’s raw-water line from Lake Bridgeport on Sept. 20. The leak occurred at 5:15 in the evening, after city employees had already worked a 10-hour day, he said. Nevertheless, they worked all night to excavate and replace the leaking section of the line.

The city had enough reserves that customers never noticed the break.

“The Police Department came out and did some public safety for us because it was right on 380,” Smith said. “One side of the line had to be excavated by hand because there’s a fiber-optic cable running right beside this line. It was too close to get the bucket in.

“Catastrophe averted,” he said.

Planning Director Dedra D. Ragland updated the council on her department’s activity for August and September, which she said were “pretty slow” months.

In August the city issued 71 permits, collecting $9,162 in fees for a total of $266,784 worth of work. In September, only 56 permits were issued, drawing a total of $6,963 in fees for $280,023 worth of value added to the tax roll.

Those reports, delivered in the workshop portion of the council meeting, were the highlight of a short agenda. Once the regular meeting was convened, the council:

  • appointed Cecil LeMond to the Planning & Zoning Commission for a two-year term to expire in October of 2014;
  • voted to skip their Nov. 12 meeting, since it falls on the Veterans’ Day holiday, and just handle the entire month on Nov. 26, a Monday;
  • accepted the city’s quarterly investment report; and
  • held an executive session to go through the formal evaluation process for City Manager Brett Shannon, an annual exercise.

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