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Paving funds fall short, but Granite Shoals road work to begin

Churchill Drive in Granite Shoals

Road work is scheduled to begin at Churchill Drive in Granite Shoals on Monday, Oct. 18. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

An outside contractor, Fuqua Inc., will begin street and road improvements discussed earlier by the Granite Shoals City Council. Fuqua submitted a proposal that was shared with the City Council during its Tuesday, Oct. 12, meeting to begin repairs on 11 streets in the city for $525,297.20 — a price that is over budget by $175,292.20. 

“We don’t have the time or the ability to do it,” City Manager Jeff Looney told the council. 

Two months ago, city staff told the council the work could be done in house and would total $350,000. After reviewing bids and examining what’s available at City Hall, Looney and Assistant City Manager Peggy Smith concluded it would be more cost effective to hire Fuqua. 

The city can buy asphalt at $58 a ton through the Fuqua contract as opposed to $65 a ton had city employees done the work. In addition, the base will be 4 percent cement.

“We’ve had a hard time on prices,” Smith said. “This includes the asphalt. We have to make some decisions to stay within budget.”

Smith added that Fuqua would begin work on Churchill and Kingswood on Monday, Oct. 18.  

City staff will submit a request to the council for more money for the remaining streets in the future. 

Without enough money to repair all of the streets on the list because of the higher costs, council members wanted to find the money now for the whole project.

At that point, Looney refocused the discussion.

“You gave us the money to do the streets,” he said. “There were more costs associated than what we have. What we’re saying is we’re not going over the amount unless you let us. It’ll take time to get these repairs together. But, if they don’t start Monday, they won’t get anything done. I hope you’d allow us to start.”

That satisfied the council.

In other news, the council voted to have one meeting in each of the next two months: Nov. 9 and Dec. 14. The council usually meets twice a month. 

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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