New Martinsville Street Commissioner Gary Willey has his sights on paving seven streets in the city.
"Hopefully the rest of the month will just be blacktop," he reported to city council Monday evening. "We've got to get this blacktop while we can."
The streets scheduled for paving are Foundry Street from the Board of Education alley to Wayt Street; Louise Lane from Russell Avenue to Fourth Street Extension; Jefferson Street from Ann Lane to Clark Street; Carol Lane from state Route 2 to Lanham Foundry; Monroe Avenue from state Route 2 to Second Street; Paddock Green Drive from Meadow Drive to Johnson Street; and Northgate from state Route 2 to Riverview Drive.
Willey said the two projects in the Brooklyn area are ready for paving and the next big project will be Monroe Avenue.
"We're basically 10 years behind," said Councilwoman Iris "Deaner" Isaacs. She said this is mostly because the city didn't have the funding to keep up with the needed street paving.
The money for the designated paving projects, almost $28,000, will come in part from the Street Department budget and partially from the city's reserve fund.
While a petition had been submitted to the city for the paving of East Thistle Drive, Court, and Place, she said they just don't have the money to do that project right now. However, the street department will be trying to patch some of the worst spots on those streets.
The announcement of these projects comes on the heals of a busy time of storm cleanup for the department. On Friday they finished the project on Harlan Drive where brush and trees were hauled to after the June 29 derecho that wreaked havoc in the area. Willey said the huge mound of vegetation has been chipped and hauled out. The street department carried 197 loads, but the state jumped in and helped some too, with maybe 150 loads. Overall he estimates over 350 loads of chipped brush were hauled and his department is looking at $150,000 in expenses to be submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
On a related note, Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce President Don Riggenbach addressed council about the city creating a new road in the area of the group's commerce park. The project of making a new road, approximately 580 feet, to connect the end of Foundry Street into the upper portion of Anderson Lane has been in the works for a while.
Riggenbach said the street will open up the 40-acre park and make it more desirable to new businesses. Further, he said the area is starting to develop a a bit more, "Which would, by the way, increase B&O (business and occupation) taxes for the city," said Riggenbach.
"We're starting to clear over there and flatten out some areas," said Riggenbach.
The chamber paid the city for materials for the project in November 2011. Riggenbach was looking for a timeline for the project, noting he knew the storm changed everyone's itinerary.
"Gary kind of does have a timeline, but it's probably not going to be before October," said Mayor Keith Nelsen.
"We're just getting anxious, that's all," replied Riggenbach.