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Nitro to re-think paving project

By By Marta Ree Tankersley
Staff writer

Nitro officials will have to re-evaluate which city streets need paved the most after a bid for the project came back about $100,000 higher than expected.

Nitro budgeted $100,000 for street paving this year, but the lowest bid the city received from a company for the project is $206,135, Councilman Bill Javins said Tuesday night.

“The paving committee will go back out and take another look and decide which ones need it most,” Javins said.

The city’s plan had been to pave seven streets, including: 6th, 11th, 12th, 20th, East 31st, 2nd Avenue and East Hillside Drive.

Residents Laura Mallett and Kenny Dean, who live in the Brookhaven Subdivision on Fairview Drive, asked council to consider repairing the streets in their area.

“Some of those roads are caving in,” Mallett said. A hillside slipped into her yard several years ago and she’s still trying to contain the damage, she said.

“I have personally been taking care of that area. I’m 71 and my husband is 81,” Mallett said. “I can’t do it myself. I have the high water bills from trying to keep it clean.”

Mayor Dave Casebolt admitted there’s a substantial problem in Brookhaven and said 186 areas have been identified that need repair there.

“The city has replaced concrete on Brentwood Drive and Brentwood Circle,” the mayor said. “If things fall in place for us, we’ll be doing a lot of paving and concrete work in the next two years.”

However, Councilman Bill Racer added that the process is complicated and labor intensive.

“We can’t go in and put asphalt over those streets,” Racer said. “It will just wash out. But we are getting it knocked out a little bit at a time.”

Casebolt said the city has a 20-year plan, which includes repairing the streets in Brookhaven. Hopefully, he added, the repairs in that area can be sped up.

“I promise you we are working on it,” Casebolt said. “I’d like to be able to say more, but we just don’t have a clear picture on it yet.”

A meeting will be held Thursday to discuss the paving issue more, the mayor said.

There are some issues dealing with private property and property that the state owns, Casebolt said. What would help, he said, is if the city is approved to participate in the state’s Municipal Home Rule Program, which would give the city more say in how the city is governed.

“It depends on how the home rule application goes,” he said.

Nitro will present its plan before the Home Rule Board in Charleston on Aug. 4. Nitro is vying to be one of 16 West Virginia cities accepted in the program.

In other business, Councilwoman Brenda Tyler announced that the “Taste of Nitro” and the city-wide yard sale, along with the senior citizen’s indoor yard sale will be held June 12.

All churches in Nitro will prepare and sell specialty dishes on 2nd Avenue for the Taste of Nitro. Proceeds will be donated to the Nitro Mission and used to fund the food pantry, help people pay utility bills, and purchase Christmas toys and baskets for people in need.

“Last year we paid about $8,000 in utility bills and gave away $14,000 worth of Christmas baskets,” Tyler said. “Our needy residents don’t go to the Salvation Army, they come to us.”

Applications for assistance are available at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church on 20th Street.

Also at the meeting, officials said free garbage bags are available at the Public Works garage and at City Hall for residents who are current on their municipal fees.

Reach Marta Tankersley at marta.tankersley@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1249.


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