PAXTON — The council's street and alley committee voted to recommend to the full council that the city spend about $125,000 in motor fuel tax money to repair streets this summer.
That won't cover the some $481,000 worth of suggested repaving on street superintendent Randy Swan's wish list, but he's hoping the council will be able to add $50,000 as it has the past several years from the general fund for the street program. The council is unable to commit now to the additional money because the budget for next fiscal year has not yet been determined.
Swan said he expects the motor fuel tax fund to have about $256,000 in it by July, accruing by about $9,000 per month. But Swan likes to leave half the fund untouched each year in case some emergency arises.
Alderman Brad Marshall said perhaps it's time to quit repaving streets with asphalt and instead oil and chip streets like other area towns. Swan agreed that could be a possible approach but noted that oil and chipping over time builds up the center of the street and leads to crowning.
Also the finance committee met at the request of Alderman Alan Meyer. He's concerned that the city in its budgeting process isn't building in the cost each year of purchasing large-ticket items like a street sweeper. His request follows last week when the council rejected Swan's request to purchase a new sweeper for $173,000. The council directed Swan to have the sweeper repaired for $10,000 to try to make it last several more years. Marshall agreed the city needs to do long-range planning and budgeting.