JASPER, Tenn. — Repaving roads is a constant and costly chore that most small-town governments have to keep on their to-do list each year.
At its September meeting, the Jasper Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted unanimously to approve three paving projects for a total of $38,188, while delaying a fourth project until the spring.
Mayor Paul Evans urged city leaders to include the $8,984 Industrial Boulevard project as one of the three to be completed now because he said it is the most critical.
"We're down there quite often patching that," he said.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation plans to repave Godsey Drive, which leads to Industrial Boulevard from Interstate 24, but that estimated $460,000 project is at least a year from getting underway.
"We won't have to spend anything on that," Evans said. "All I'm trying to do is get us through until they can do it without going down there every day and patching it."
He said the factories located along Industrial Boulevard would "really appreciate it" due to the constant tractor-trailer traffic along the road.
The board included Marilyn Drive for $17,000 and Mary Lee Drive for $12,204 in the Pryor Cove area in Jasper's immediate paving plans.
"I don't think we've done anything, ever, in Pryor Cove," Alderman Steve Looney said. "There hasn't been a paved road [there] since we initially paved it."
He said paving Marilyn Drive and Mary Lee Drive would be "a good start" for the town, and suggested the Industrial Boulevard proposal be the third paving project to complete immediately.
Since the board changed parts of North Pryor Cove Road into a one-way street last year, Evans said those two roads are getting much more traffic than before.
The board decided to wait until the spring to pave a section of Seventh Street for $14,225.
Evans said he wanted to "hold off" on paving that road in case of an emergency drain on the budget.
"It's well within our budget, but [if we delay], it will leave enough money that after the first of the year when spring comes around, we'll have money to start the project again," he said. "We won't have to wait until our budget passes to get it done."
Officials said the city would pay the Marion County Highway Department to do the work, which is a common practice among all the local municipalities in the area.
Ryan Lewis is based in Marion County. Contact him at email@example.com.