Newark City Council to seek county help

By Austin Jackson | Published Saturday, April 20, 2019
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Newark city council members Thursday approved Mayor Mark Wondolowski to negotiate an interlocal agreement with Wise County for road improvements in the city.

The road work will be focused on improving the drainage along Rogers Road and McCanne Street.

Councilman Chris Raines, who’s taken the lead on researching road improvements, said the project is a priority.

“The biggest thing is to fix the drainage first,” Raines said. “That’s what eats up roads.”

Raines said when the roads were originally built the city had not set up restrictions on where residents could set up fences, and the result has been a lack of drainage across the roads. He said the city plans to work with residents in beefing up the easement.

“What we’ve got right now, as the city was so old, there wasn’t any permits or places for fences,” he said. “They put fences up wherever they wanted to. We have to work with them. Right now, the ditches are right up to the edge and they’re deep and not going anywhere. Water is just standing in a lot of those places and there’s no access to get equipment in to do anything.”

Council members approved the item 4-0.

Wondolowski will look to get on the agenda and negotiate the agreement with county commissioners to approve up to $15,000 in labor, while the city would provide funding for the materials from its $100,000 road and drainage improvement budget.

The city has already sought bids on the repairs, and plans to go forward if county commissioners don’t enter the agreement. Raines said it would be more time efficient if the county could help provide the manpower.

“It would be faster and less expensive to see if the county can do it,” Raines said.

In other business, Newark residents could soon opt for more eco friendly water bills.

The usage won’t change, but the council approved pursuing a water utility billing software upgrade with Continental Utility Solutions that would allow for electronic billing. With the new software, City secretary Jeanine Inman said people could check their usage electronically and opt for paperless billing. An improvement for the previous software, which Inman said is dated.

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