With city officials moving away from widening N. Chancery Street, funding could travel to other streets considered some of the worst in McMinnville.
“The city’s infrastructure is going down,” said McMinnville Public Works director Bill Brock. “It’s not the worst city in the world that I’ve been in. I’ve been in a lot of cities that would love to have our streets.”
City officials stopped paving more than 10 years ago. In the 1990s, the city used capital outlay notes and bonds to pave and resurface streets. Since 2000, only patching has been done using money given to the city from the state in its Street Aid budget.
Since 2007, officials have discussed the situation.
“For four years we have been discussing the need to do street paving,” said city administrator David Rutherford. “We have streets that are in bad shape and are getting in worse shape.”
The city has had three planning sessions about street conditions and the growing need to begin paving. Also, McMinnville Public Works generated a street index to catalog all the streets and identify best to worst.
“I’ve asked Public Works to go through that list and see what $2.5 million to $3 million would do for us on paving streets,” said Rutherford.
Brock shot for closer to $2.2 million. The list was based on usage, number of residences on them, and proximity to one another in an effort to reduce the cost. Cost estimate for 51 streets was slightly more than $2.1 million.
The remaining amount was spent on paving city-owned parking lots.
“Our parking lots are in terrible shape,” said Brock. “That’s $645,000 in paving.”
Public parking lots in the downtown area would cost $277,314. Fire Station 1 parking lot would be $10,800. The civic center’s parking lots, front and back, would be $357,240.
Rutherford reminded officials if they want to pave, the money that would have been borrowed to widen North Chancery could be used.
“If you chose to pave streets, you are going to have to borrow money because you do not have the funds to do it,” he said. “You were set to borrow $1.2 to $1.4 million to widen one street. You could go ahead and borrow that money and put a program together to start working on some of these streets.”
By the list, which came with an estimate for each street and a running total, $1.2 million would pave 27 streets and $1.4 million would add another 10 streets.
Brock says the cost estimates are for paving. The estimates could differ somewhat if the street needs resurfacing and not paving.
Guidance, not a decision, was requested from officials at this time.
“This is just for your information,” said Rutherford. “All we need at this time is to see some willingness by the board for us to continue generating information.”
“I’ll make a motion that we are willing,” said Alderman Clair Cochran, which brought a round of laughter. “Do I hear a second?”
“I’ll second,” said Alderman Junior Medley.
There are approximately 288 streets inside the city of McMinnville. Prior estimates given to officials put the cost of paving all the streets at approximately $45 million.