At a City Council caucus meeting Monday, members began the task of becoming miracle workers. The first job was to find the money to make miracles happen. For several years, $4.4 million have been spent, and it's not going as far as it used to go.
Council President Kevin Kelley told members, "In 1996, asphalt was $591 a ton. This year it's $58.75. Trucking of that went from $39 an hour to $90."
The current approach is haphazard. By systematically tackling 5 percent of the city's streets per year, all should be done in 20 years. Immediately the budget will jump to $10 million per year.
Not all agree. Councilman Jeff Johnson objected to no guaranteed amount for any ward.
"I have a problem with this idea that for some reason, there are neighborhoods that are worse than other neighborhoods when it comes to the condition of the streets."
Councilman Mike Polensek feels too much money is spent downtown, and not enough in the neighborhoods.
"I am sick and tired of hearing what we have to do for the RNC."
The fear of ward-by-ward control being eroded didn't bother the majority of council members. It appears the plan will win approval.
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