Adding priorities

“Building infrastructure that lasts” and developing a plan to address issues of drug use and homelessness in Greenville were added to the city’s goals and objectives for 2019-20 at Tuesday’s Greenville City Council meeting.

“Building infrastructure that lasts” and developing a plan to address issues of drug use and homelessness in Greenville were added to the city’s goals and objectives for 2019-20 at Tuesday’s Greenville City Council meeting.

At multiple meetings during the budget planning process, Councilman Jerry Ransom described the dire condition of many of the roads in Greenville and requested amending the list of goals and objectives to include the priority of “building infrastructure that lasts.”

With Tuesday’s meeting being the first one since the council approved this year’s budget and property tax rate, a formal discussion and vote on amending the city's goals and objectives was placed on the agenda.

Much of what was discussed Tuesday dealt specifically with road improvement, and with 26 of the 31 sections of road listed under the city’s street improvement plan slated for just mill and overlay, many of the council members questioned if that was enough.

“The soil properties we have here need to be taken more into account,” Ransom said. “We have roads that were replaced five years ago and they’re already falling apart.”

As the discussion continued, Ransom as well as council members Al Atkins and Holly Gotcher each mentioned that they believed there was too much reliance on “throwing down hot mix” to repair potholes, and not enough reconstruction of roads.

Later, Mayor David Dreiling suggested to City Manager Summer Spurlock, “We may need to have some retraining of city employees in this regard … and either the hot mix or process needs to be looked at by people who are a lot smarter than I am about this.”

So far, streets listed under the city’s street improvement plan for 2019-20 for simply a mill and overlay procedure are:

– Rosemary Street, from Bourland to Polk Street

– Up the Grove Street, from Bourland to Polk Street

– Silver Street, from Wesley to Beauchamp Street

– Henry Street, Oliver to Kennedy Street

– Wright Street, Silver to Dalton Street

– Kingston Street, Alpha to Cornelia Street

– Langford Street, Lee to Bourland Street

– Church Street, Morgan to Utilis Street

– Henry Street, Morgan to Utilis Street

– Eutopia Street, Morgan to Utilis Street

– Speedway Street, Henry to McDougal Street

– Oneal Street, Texas to Up the Grove street

– Texas Street, the railroad crossing to Oneal

– College Street, Templeton to Cornelia Street

– Morrison Street, Adams to Edmondson Street

– Lake Street, Kingston Drive/Road to N Rees Street

– Main Street, Alpha to Morrison Street

– Sunset Strip, Adams to Main Street

– Stonewall Street, Terrell Road to Mockingbird

– Chapparal Drive, Sayle Street to Finch Drive

– Pollard Street, Stuart to Bois D Arc Street

– Pollard Street, Johnson to Stonewall Street,

– Gee Street, Cleveland to Stanford Street

– Rolling Hills Drive, Beverly Drive to Bowie Circle

– Beverly Drive, Rolling Hills Drive to the service road

– Furlong Drive, Marita Road to Marita Road

Meanwhile, the following roads are currently slated under the street improvement plan for “minor reconstruction,” which includes the “stabilization of the ground underneath the street” in addition to the mill and overlay:

– Templeton Street, College Street to its dead end

– Division Street, Moulton to Fourth Street

– Shelby, Wellington Street to Montana Drive

– Center Point Road, Justin Lane to Jack Finney Boulevard

– Aerobic Lane, Jack Finney Boulevard to Woodland Drive

The streets listed under the improvement plan are separate from those under the $15 million road improvement bond approved by residents in May.

According to the bond language, those funds are to be used specifically for the reconstruction of Sayle Street, from Kari Lane to Joe Ramsey Boulevard, and Stonewall Street, from Poplar Avenue to Joe Ramsey – including upgrades to the utilities beneath those streets, such as water and sewer lines.

In addition to talking about issues with the city’s streets at Tuesday’s meeting, Councilman Brent Money recommended that the goals and objectives be amended further to include developing a plan on how to address issues with drug abuse and homelessness.

“The problem seems worse, not better,” Money said. “I think we need to look into strategies to increase police presence or for community development.

“I’ve had people walking into my yard and trying to steal my lawn mower,” Money continued. “I think someone needs to develop a 5-year, 10-year plan for this.”

Councilman Cedric Dean agreed with much of what Money said.

“In places where there’s a low police presence, there’s no deterrent because people know they can get away with doing wrong,” Dean said.

After the discussion, the council approved - with a unanimous vote - both amendments to the city’s list of goals and objectives for 2019-20.

Travis Hairgrove is a news reporter and features writer at the Herald-Banner and covers city government for many municipalities in Hunt County. To reach him outside of business hours, email THairgroveReporter@gmail.com.

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