- Judith Brown, Laurens County Advertiser
Pennies for Paving: Road paving top Clinton’s infrastructure proposal
By Judith Brown | October 5, 2020 |
If the Capital Projects Sales Tax passes this November, City of Clinton residents will end up seeing long awaited paving of some of the roads which have been on the city’s “to-do” list for years. Road paving is the first of three phases in the City of Clinton Infrastructure Proposal, which would total $6,528,443 if the referendum passes and the 1-cent sales tax brings in the expected funds. The proposal also includes important water and sewer upgrades and the burial of power and communications lines along South Broad that would allow the city to install decorative lights similar to those put in on North Broad Street years ago. Road paving was listed as the first phase of the Clinton Infrastructure Proposal, followed by necessary water and sewer upgrades. “The bad roads have always been on the top of people’s complaints,” said Joey Meadors, the director of utilities with the City of Clinton. “Gary Street was finally completed with funds from the County Transportation Committee, but we ranked 13 other roads that have also needed paving for a long time.” Assistant City manager Thomas Higgs said the street paving phase totals $1,782,653. Paving costs fluctuate depending on several factors, including the cost of petroleum at any given time, Meadors said, so it’s hard to know exactly how many roads could be paved with the funds until it’s time to look for a contractor. “We’d love to pave even more roads. It will depend on the money that comes in,” Meadors said. Coming in as the most expensive phase of the project are the needed improvements to water and sewer systems across the city. Phase 2, the water and sewer upgrades, total $3,425,000. That cost includes engineering fees, Higgs said. “Residents just want to know the water works when they turn it on, but every city is facing this need to upgrade water and sewer systems and it’s very expensive,” Higgs said. Among the issues are several “dead end lines,” Meadors explained, and keeping them from stagnating means they have to be flushed every day. “Currently, we flush dead end lines daily and we are using about one million gallons a month to do so,” Meadors said. “The infrastructure project includes looping these dead end water lines. There are other lines close by and we would tie them together.” There are also sewer issues that are not covered by the Rural Infrastructure Authority or Community Development Block Grants for which the city has applied. The cost is $3,425,000, with engineering fees included in that figure. Phase three includes burying utility lines from Carolina Avenue to where highways 56 and 72 split on the south side of town, Meadors said. Lines were buried along North Broad Street years ago, and decorative lighting was added up North Broad at that time. This work would allow the city to install decorative lighting on South Broad in order to match North Broad Street. At a cost of $978,289.94, it’s the least expensive phase but includes funds to help Spectrum and AT&T to bury their lines.