Council approves paving bid

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

By Billy Stidham

The Berryville City Council voted Tuesday night to accept a bid of $736,711.65 for street paving.

“This is a pretty extensive program that we’ve been needing to do for several years,” Mayor Tim McKinney said. “This is going to be a lot of catch-up.”

The council accepted the bid from Hutchens Construction Company. The work will include applying a single coat chip and seal application for limestone chips, a double coat chip and seal application for limestone, a mastic surface sealer and a hot mix asphalt application including track oil.

“We are using a lot of this sealing stuff on our really good streets that are starting to get weather cracks in them,” McKinney said. “We looked at streets where this stuff as been put down and it makes it look really nice. It makes it look black and smooth again.

“This will leave about a million dollars on our street fund,” McKinney said. “We still plan on doing the sidewalks on the square and then we will put some money into the industrial park.”

Later McKinney brought the council up to date on the Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant that has been awarded to the city to assist in the creation of an industrial park.

“I guess you know we got $1.5 million,” he said.

“We’ve got a conference call with EDA and the economic development district (Wednesday) to kind of kick that off and see what procedures and how we have to do everything. It will get about 80 acres of that property shovel-ready to go to work.”

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, alderwoman Cindy George addressed the council regarding some local properties that are not keeping tidy.

“Let’s talk about our little cleanup project,” she said. “The one I had on Huntsville Street mowed today, but there is a ton of stuff like old carpet just laying on the porch. [Another property] mowed the front and half of the back but there’s a van out there that I am sure is not licensed in the front. … If you need council members to be down in court to make sure we get something done, I volunteer.”

“If I can just get a heads-up on who is a problem,” city attorney Clint Scheel said. “What we typically do with those is we hold it over their head and keep citing them and if they get it cleaned up then we will drop it down to one citation and be done with it.”

“I don’t understand some people,” said George.

“I don’t, either,” McKinney said. “I’ve been mayor for 29 years and we’ve been dealing with the same house (in some cases) for 29 years.”

The council later had a closed executive meeting to discuss step raises. Twenty employees were eligible for step raises but two employees that were hired in May were not considered eligible for a step raise.

“Everybody that was eligible for a step raise received one,” said administrative assistant Jay Lee. “We work on a seven-step scale.”

The council’s next meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 16, at City Hall.

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