By Michaela Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
The Tupelo City Council voted Tuesday to use nearly $1 million in reserve funds to expand its annual street paving program.
Mayor Jack Reed had suggested the council consider expanding the milling and overlay program using unrestricted reserve funds to supplement the annual $800,000 budget.
Annually, the public works department identifies which streets are most in need of repaving. For 2013, the public works department recommended 22 streets and has completed the engineering work required for the projects. The $800,000 regular budget would have only stretched to cover the first six streets on the list.
The expanded street program had wide support among the council members.
“It improves the looks and safety,” said Ward 7 Councilman Willie Jennings. “Everyone benefits.”
Based on a suggestion from Ward 1 Councilman Markel Whittington, Public Works identified two streets – Frog Meadow and Prairie View in the newly annexed areas of the city that needed immediate attention.
Frog Meadow has extensive problems with potholes. A portion of Prarie View is a gravel road, and paving it will bring it up to city codes.
“It sends a signal to our new citizens,” Whittington said.