Lake Street paving hot topic at Lake City Council meeting

Wednesday, December 7, 2005
Alderman Bill Reeves proposes funding allocations for paving of South Lake Street in 2006, as councilmen Mark Mann and Carolyn Caldwell listen to Riverpark subdivision residents request for help. (Town Crier photo/Nan Snider)

Lake City residents turned out in force during Tuesday evening's city council meeting to express their dismay over the road conditions on South Lake Street leading to Riverpark subdivision. After a lengthy discussion the council voted to set the paving of South Lake Street as a priority for 2006.

Developer Lee Beasley and several residents of the annexed housing addition southeast of town expressed the need for paving on the long dusty road, and their concerns for safety of their children because of low visibility.

Mayor Jerry Bowman detailed the city's efforts to improve road conditions on South Lake Street.

"The road was graveled by the Craighead County road crew earlier this year, then we had slag put on it, in an effort to make it better," Bowman said. "We hope to start paving it in 2007."

"We were told you would begin paving in 2006, and now you say it will be 2007," Beasley said. "No one told us that putting the slag on the gravel was going to make us have to wait another year. The dust on the road is unbelievable. We are afraid that some child is going to get hit, because drivers can't see what is in front of them."

Several councilmen also said they understood paving would start in phases in 2006.

"We thought the slag would help but were told it needed rain to pack, and we didn't get any rain," said Shirley Holden. "It is like a washboard now. It is awful."

The city put the slag on the graveled road, and Beasley paid the city for it.

"We have 23 houses down there, and I had hoped to add more," Beasley said. "You told me before you left office you planned to have all the streets in Lake City paved. You are leaving next year and now you are saying our street won't be started until 2007."

"We have to do it when the county is ready for it to be done," Bowman said. "We want to start on the south end and come back into town. We will have to do it in phases."

Alderman Bill Reeves moved any money for paving of streets in 2006 should go on the paving of South Lake Street. The council approved the motion.

Beasley asked Mayor Bowan about the families paying for the paving and let the city pay them back when they get the money, estimated at $50,000.

"The idea doesn't sound bad, but I will have to check with our city attorney," said Mayor Bowman.

Riverpark residents also inquired about zoning of their subdivision. City Clerk Diane Crews said since the newly annexed streets were not on the books already, it would take time before the area is zoned.

In other city business, the council:

*announced cancellation of Lake City Christmas Parade, due to ill health of the director.

*approved the appointment of Steve Lancaster as a volunteer fireman.

*approved the 2006 city budget.

*voted to formulate an ordinance dealing with city water connection fees, instead of deposits. Meter deposits are to be phased out.

*renewed accidental death and dismemberment insurance with Arkansas Municipal League for city officials and department superintendents.

The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 19 at city hall.

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