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Cookeville Council To Decide On Spending Excess Revenue On Paving

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Cookeville Council To Decide On Spending Excess Revenue On Paving

Cookeville City Council will consider Thursday using unbudgeted revenue to help pave streets this spring.

City Manager James Mills said the city has generated an additional $2.5 million in revenue this year, largely due to increased interest on its accounts. Mills said the additional 6.4 miles of paving work could begin in the next two weeks if council approves.

“If we’re going to even stay close to keeping up, we’ve got to put more money into our paving,” Mills said. “And now is the time, in my opinion, to do it. Since we do have what I consider to be a surplus, we have a lot of extra cash coming in this year. Let’s use it to try to catch up.”

Mills said the additional revenue would bring the city’s expenditure on paving to nearly $3 million this year. In 2017, the city budgeted $600,000.

The problem, Mills said, is the inflation in costs has reduced what the city can get done.

“The problem has been asphalt’s gone through the roof again,” Mills said. “You just don’t get the same bang for your buck. So we got to keep going, stay ahead of it, or we’re going to get even further behind.”

The biggest project for this spring would be the refurbishment of Jackson Street between Willow Avenue and Jefferson Avenue. That street will also require milling to remove the old payment. Mills said that adds significant cost.

“But that street is in very bad condition,” Mills said. “If we wait much longer, it’s going to be a serious problem.”

Public Works Director Blake Mayo said coordination will be important for Jackson so residents are not lefting driving on the milled street for very long. He said they must also get the striping team in place quickly.

Rogers Group does paving for Cookeville. Mills said the company usually has just a few weeks in the spring and a few in the fall when it can pave for Cookeville due to its extensive TDOT contracts.

The core of Cookeville’s paving money comes through gas tex revenues. Mills said it is fairly stable at about $1.2 million annually. Cookeville has roughly 220 miles of paved streets.


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