- Paving prioritized

East-side parking along Highway K on Seymour's square will be repaved later this summer.

Entering last Thursday’s special budget meeting, the Seymour Board of Aldermen had $231,173 in desired paving projects for the upcoming fiscal year, which starts July 1.

Exiting the hour-long meeting, four projects were chosen, totaling just over $90,000, which was all the new city budget would allow for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

“A week ago, we had about $100,000 for paving,” City Administrator Hillary Gintz told Mayor Richard Vinson and the four aldermen. “Today, we’re now at $90,000, because we simply can’t afford that extra $10,000 with all of the needs we have in infrastructure, notably in our sewers.”

In turn, the aldermen went to work, prioritizing paving projects.

Selected first was an asphalt overlay on Forrest Drive and Trimble Street at the city’s north edge, which connects Skyline Road with Highway C.

The road is shared equally between the city and the Seymour Special Road District, and since the road district is paving its half of the road this summer, the city will do the same thing. Price of the city’s share of the project, to be completed by Blevins Asphalt of Mount Vernon, is $65,178.75.

“Well, there’s all but about $25,000 of our money,” North Ward Alderman Jim Ashley noted.

Remaining on the list were about $165,000 in projects.

Priority came first to the east-side alley behind the Family Dollar and Walgreens Pharmacy businesses.

“That alley’s in the worst shape of all of them,” North Ward Alderman Darrel “Bub” Wallace said. The other three aldermen agreed.

Cost of the work, to be completed by Capital Paving of Jefferson City, is $8,400.

“There’s about $16,500 left,” South Ward Alderman Dan Wehmer told his colleagues.

Wehmer then suggested that the city look at the parking spots on the east side of the square.

“Those are in horrible condition, especially along the east side of Highway K,” he explained. “When it rains, there’s a small river running through the parking spots.”

Wallace noted that the project’s cost was $20,460.

“I suggest we maybe modify this,” he said.

His suggestion was that Capital Paving be contacted to modify its bid to only include repaving the east side of the street, versus the $20,460 bid that included repaving the east and west-side parking spots.

“Using that logic, that bid should come in around $10,000 and maybe a bit less, because I think there's more room on the west side of Highway K," Wallace said.

Again, all three aldermen agreed, so the modified eastside paving was added to the list at a cost of $10,000.

That left $6,500 to spend.

This time, Wehmer had a suggestion.

“On this list, we’ve got A Street, B Street, C Street, Cantrell, Charles and Cordie streets, and we’re not going to get to any of them, especially if we look at doing any more of our alleys,” he explained.

“Why don’t we at least do one street, and I suggest that one street we do is C Street, which has more traffic than A Street or B Street and has a cost of $7,665. I know that puts us about $1,000 over our budget, but we can find savings elsewhere in the budget to make it up.”

The other three aldermen agreed with Wehmer’s proposal.

“Four streets out of 12 on the list,” South Ward Alderman Nadine Crisp said. “I just wish that we could do more, but I know the money’s just not there this year.”

“I do think we’ve maximized what we can do,” Ashley said. “This is as good a plan as we can have.”

Aldermen voted 4-0 to approve the paving plan.

Gintz will now schedule the work for this summer.

A final special budget-study meeting of the aldermen was held Tuesday night.

At 6 p.m. this Thursday evening, the city’s regular meeting will be held in council chambers at Seymour City Hall.

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