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City wages war on street grass

By Brandon Evans | Published Saturday, February 23, 2013

Less than a year after the city of Newark resurfaced several roads throughout town, signs of ruin are already starting to pop up through the cracks.

The city recently resurfaced Park, Brown and Chambers streets. But those roads are already pocked with potholes and grass and weeds are poking up through the surface.

“On Park and Brown streets there is actually grass coming up through the blacktop,” said council member Bob Wells. “We just resurfaced these roads six months ago. This is happening on roads all over the city.

“We’ve got to approve this and get it done so we can get more life than two years out of these new roads.”

At a meeting Thursday night, the rest of the council agreed. They unanimously approved tweaking the budget so they could get a total of $35,000 into the street repair account. That’s the projected budget total to resurface Sandy Bass Lane and fix the pothole problem popping up on roads all over town.

Wells said there are more roads slated to be resurfaced, including Pettit and Burke streets, but that will cost another $34,400, which “is not feasible this year.”

NEW OFFICER TO CUT DOWN ON WEEDS

The council also unanimously approved hiring a “code service official” on a part-time basis to help the city enforce ordinances.

“We need them to identify owners of property or renters, send out certified letters and produce spreadsheets,” said city secretary Diane Rasor.

She said it’s important for whoever they hire to stay on top of the enforcement process because it involves several steps. Rasor is also a certified code enforcement officer and could help. They already have an individual in mind who moonlights as a martial arts instructor.

The council approved the mayor to hire the officer for five to 10 hours per week at a wage not to exceed $20 per hour. Depending on how much they work, it will cost the city between $3,000 and $6,000 to fund the position for the remainder of the fiscal year.

CITY NOTES

  • Council agreed to again sponsor the Annual Easter Egg Hunt. The hunt will occur on the grounds outside City Hall from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 23, and will feature an egg hunt, snacks, games and prizes. If there is inclement weather the hunt will move into the community center.
  • Council reviewed photos and progress of volunteers working on water and sewer line projects toward the STEP grant.
  • City auditor Bill Spore reviewed the audit of last year’s fiscal budget with the council. He said he did not find “any deficiencies” in the budget.

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