The city’s streets recently went from bad to worse because of wet and winter weather as well as a nearly $3 million sewer project that is getting under way.
Gilbert said the fact that there has not been a resurfacing project in the city in more than 20 years contributed to the erosion that has taken place.
“We’ve got roads that are falling apart, and three weeks of rain just did us in,” Gilbert said.
City workers took advantage of Monday’s sunshine and began patching some of the most problematic areas. Patching is expected to be completed by the end of the week.
Resurfacing, however, is out of the question for the foreseeable future.
In addition to the sewer project, the city will also be replacing its gas lines this spring.
“For us to go freshly pave a road when there’s a chance we are about to have to dig it right back up would be a bit silly on our part. We’re trying to do the best we can,” Gilbert said.
The sewer project, which will mainly upgrade the wastewater treatment plant and pump stations, is expected to last between three and five years.
Gilbert said he is hopeful that some repaving, especially on main roads, can begin sooner.
By that point, Gilbert also expects to see new businesses and residents in the city that can help finance the project.
In the meantime, city officials are asking for patience as well as assistance in determining which areas need immediate attention.
Gilbert requests that residents who wish to report dangerous road conditions contact City Hall or him directly through Facebook or his cell phone, 300-4985.
“We have such an open government down here now. I see so many people instantly take to Facebook and complain. Give us the chance to serve you. If you never come to us, how do you expect your problem to be resolved?” Gilbert said.