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Projects underway downtown

A few city officials were out and about today checking on the progress of a few projects. In the last twelve months, the city has paved around fifteen miles of streets, and that number includes five miles of neighborhood streets.

Mayor Percy Bland says, “well, it’s important because, I mean, a lot of people are bumping up and down when they ride up the streets. So, we’re trying to fill in the gaps of potholes and also maintain our city streets. Our infrastructure is very important. That’s why we put a lot of money and priority in improving our infrastructure.”

The mayor says the city has used their new paving equipment to work on this project, along with a $7.5 million-dollar bond to their paving program. The project is currently being put on hold while their new contract is being negotiated. Also today, Mayor Bland and Public Works Director Hugh Smith monitored the on-going project of residential meters being installed. According to Smith, these meters are more beneficial because they go through a fixed-based meter reading system. The data is transferred electronically to a main frame versus having to have a person come out and read the meter.

“It recognizes what’s a normal read over a period of time and what’s not normal. So, it also gives us the option to be able to help the customer or the citizen in regard to how to use their water. They may have a leak they’re not aware of, that meter will identify that, let us know, and we can in turn reach out to the customer if they’re going out of town for an extended period of time,” says Hugh Smith.

The contract workers have been working on commercial meters for around four to six months, but now they are working on installing all of the residential meters.

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