Aldermen in agreement Lower Woodville Road needs attention

Published 9:40 am Wednesday, April 11, 2007

City officials want to make it a smoother drive for Natchez residents — at least on Lower Woodville Road.

Most of the aldermen were in agreement at Tuesday’s meeting that something had to be done about the road’s rough pavement.

Alderman Bob Pollard brought up the subject in the finance meeting before the regular meeting.

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“It’s in dire need of repair,” Pollard said. “We’ve been getting a lot of complaints.”

And with incoming industries looking to locate, traffic is only likely to increase, Alderman Jake Middleton said.

“Lower Woodville Road is going to start becoming a major thoroughfare,” Middleton said.”

Alderman David Massey brought up the topic in the regular meeting.

“People have broken boat trailer axles,” Massey said. “Some areas are really bad.”

The question came down to whether or not city money should be used to fix it. The road is on the list of roads Mississippi Department of Transportation will fund with federal dollars, but there’s a catch, City Engineer David Gardner said.

“The problem is, the alignment of the road doesn’t met federal requirements,” Gardner said. “The first thing we would have to do is straighten that road out. They’re not going to put money into something that doesn’t meet their standards.”

The city does have enough money to cover repairs to the road, if the city decided to fund the project, City Clerk Donnie Holloway said. The money would come from leftover funds from work on the Natchez Trace and funds specially designated for roadwork, he said.

If the city wanted to speed things up, they could use the companies who have bid to provide general supplies, Gardner said. That way, the city wouldn’t have to issue new bids.

Smoothing out the road, which would require replacing 10 patches of buckled concrete with new, would cost roughly $25,000, Gardner said.

Alderwoman Joyce Arceneaux-Mathis suggested asking the county permission to use their equipment to work on the road.

Massey asked Gardner and Public Works Director Eric Smith to research the possibilities of fixing the road.

In other business:

4The board approved the lowest bid for constructing and hosting a city Web site. The bid from U.S. NetworX listed a one-time design cost of $15,740, and a yearly hosting and e-mail service fee of $1,439.

4After Building Official Paul Dawes said he had gone through the proper procedures, the board declared 14 W. Woodlawn Ave. a public nuisance and approved it to be demolished. Dawes said the city would have to accept bids for the demolition.