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City preparing to pave street in Keys Landing

The residents of Sarah Keyes Way will have one of their collective desires fulfilled this summer or fall — the paving of the street in front of their homes.

Last fall, those residents began showing up at City Council meetings, asking for the street to be paved. Ravonda Ore attended several council meetings in a row, keeping a vow to attend such meetings until her and her neighbors’ concerns with the street were addressed by the city. Several people who live on the street complained about their street not being paved, resulting in damage to their vehicles.

Subsequently, the City Council asked for city staff to develop a list of unpaved streets in the city and how much it would cost to pave those streets. The cost to pave a street and install curbs and gutters is about $120 per running foot, according to Frankie Buck, the city’s former director of public works (he now works for the N.C. Department of Transportation). The cost to “ribbon” pave a street — no curbs and gutters — is about $80 a running foot, he said during a council meeting earlier this year.

The city uses Powell Bill money — generated by the state’s gasoline tax — to pay for paving city streets. Powell Bill funds cannot be spent to pave some of the city’s unpaved streets because they are not wide enough, Buck said.

“On the Keys Landing subdivision, we’ve actually gone out with paving bids. We’ll be ready to make that proposal at the June meeting and award the contract to do the street improvements for the one street that’s remaining in Keys Landing,” City Manager Bobby Roberson told the council during its meeting Monday.

Earlier this year at the instruction of the council, city staff developed a chronological list showing when unpaved streets became part of the city. Overall, according to the list, there are 1.39 miles of unpaved streets in the city. Sarah Keyes Way (.12 of a mile) became part of the city in 2010, according to the list. There are 17 streets — sections of or entire streets — on the list.

By closing unpaved streets that do not serve businesses and residences and removing them from the list, that would result in the limited funds for street paving being used to improve just the streets that do service residences and businesses, according to Councilman Doug Mercer, who supports closing such streets. Councilman Richard Brooks proposes keeping those streets open, saying closing them could come back to haunt the city.

 

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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