Council green-lights road work items

GLOVERSVILLE – The city will have new equipment in the future to better address pothole and road repair issues after the Common Council unanimously approved spending $17,000 for small equipment purchases.

The money will cover the cost of a small asphalt milling head and power broom attachments and a trailer for the existing skid steer and roller, which will allow the city to properly repair the damaged areas throughout the city, Department of Public Works Director Kevin Jones said.

Jones attributed the number of potholes in the city to the persistent thawing and freezing cycle this winter has brought. The freezing and thawing water expands the asphalt, causing cracks and potholes, he said.

He explained the problem with patching holes around the city is getting the material to stick to the damaged surfaces. It will become even more prevalent as the weather starts to heat up, because the patching has trouble staying on the road with the wet conditions and broken-down material.

“There is bad material around the edges and we currently don’t have a way to get that out of there, so we don’t have a good adhesion between the new and old material,” Jones said.

He said the new items will allow his crew to cut down the bad material and clean an even surface so the patching can adequately address the problem.

Jones also said the new equipment can be used to prepare the roadways for both cold patch and hot mix material.

The equipment has been ordered and is expected to be ready for use within the next couple of weeks, Jones said.

Councilman Wrandy Siarkowski said he believes rather than replacing entire streets with this year’s paving funds, the city needs to patch the many roadways because “the streets are a mess.”

The city receives approximately $360,000 every year in CHIPS funding, Jones said.

However, he said the reimbursement of CHIPS funding requires the new roadway to have at least a 10-year surface life, so he said that couldn’t be used for patching specifically, but could be used for resurfacing in a particularly bad section of a city street.

He said while CHIPS funding goes to the full repaving of select city streets, he also has about $30,000 within the budget to purchase the blacktop that is used for permanent patching on the remaining city streets.

Jones said the problem the city is facing is it had a $1 million list last year of roads needing to be repaired and in the ideal situation it would have moved on to the next third of that list this season, but other roads have fallen apart that weren’t on the city’s radar.

“I’m very concerned,” Jones said.

He said he will be updating the list in the coming months to present to the council, and at that time the city can select which ones will be completely repaved and which will need to be repaired within the budget.