STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
GRANITE SHOALS — Hours after Granite Shoals residents reaffirmed the $3 million road bond Nov. 7, City Manager Ken Nickel said he was pleased with the number of voters who spoke their minds. But, he pointed out, it’s still months away before crews can tackle the road upgrades.
The residents voted 194-160 to improve the three main road arteries in the city: Phillips Ranch Road, Prairie Creek Road, and Valley View Lane.
“That’s 354 voters,” Nickel said. “I’m pleased with the numbers that came out. This is an important topic.”
Last year voters approved the bond package, which was supposed to be part of the match for a possible grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. City leaders believed at the time the city would receive millions of dollars. Instead, they were told weeks later the most they could expect would be $50,000.
Nickel confirmed it would have been easy to simply say the voters gave their approval once following the 2016 vote and to move forward with the bond without asking for reaffirmation. But city hall didn’t feel that was the right thing to do, he added.
“It’s important for the city to have transparency if there’s any question of the direction our residents want us to go,” the city manager said. “It’s always good to reconfirm. This was the council’s directive to go do this. It was one they felt would make sense for them.”
Even with the $3 million affirmation, residents will get a scaled-back version of improvements.
The projected cost to improve just less than a mile Phillips Ranch Road between RR 1431 and Newcastle Drive is just over $1 million because workers will tear the road down to the base and build it back up, Nickel said, while the others can be resurfaced without asphalt.
Crews will also repave almost a mile and a half of Phillips Ranch Road from Newcastle Drive to Live Oak Drive, for just under $870,000. The city is spending almost $675,000 to repave more than a mile of Prairie Creek Road between RR 1431 and Sherwood Drive. Over on Valley View Drive, between RR 1431 and Lee Way, crews will pave just over a mile and a half stretch at an estimated cost of $490,000.
Now with the voters affirming the initial $3 million, it’s time to get to work on the projects, the city manager said. But it still requires a few more steps.
“We’ll have to go out for bids on that,” Nickel said. “We want to finalize those bids by May. And we’ll work on the repairs in June, July, and August to have it completed by September.”