Paving set to begin

The Cleveland Town Council continued discussion on the bids for repaving the municipality’s roads during last week’s meeting. As reported earlier in The Blount Countian, the low bid of $1,321,025 was from McCartney Construction Company of Gadsden. Mayor Jerry Jones pointed out the bid was well above the maximum of $1 million the town had planned to borrow for the project, which entails repaving approximately 11 miles of roads.

Jones reported he and the engineer hired to oversee the project had met with the contractor about how to reduce the cost. He explained that one way was to eliminate paving the parking lots of the town hall and the park’s ball fields. Another was to have the paving company use satellite technology to obtain the most accurate measurements of the roads to be paved, an effort that did shave off some mileage. These moves reduced the cost to $1,089,000, but as the mayor noted, that is still $89,000 over the limit.

Councilman Tommy Swindle asked if any roads could be omitted to make up the difference. Jones said he has hopes that all the roads can be upgraded, but if not, all residential streets will be paved first and the town will stop the work once the cost reaches the amount previously authorized. He added there is a chance some additional savings can be found if the actual tonnage of asphalt is less than anticipated.

After discussion, the council unanimously voted to approve a construction award resolution which allows the paving to get underway.

Councilmen Swindle and Doug Hill, both also members of the park board, asked the council to consider contributing towards the cost of extending the existing batting cages at the park, work which will include roofs over the cages. The Park Board had pledged $5,000 to the endeavor and asked the town to add an additional $4,300. The council voted unanimously to do so.

In other park-related matters, it was reported:

The malfunctioning cameras monitoring the park had been repaired.

The work on the walking track had started and, weather permitting, should be completed in about two to three weeks.

The park’s covered bridge had been moved up on pillars, as planned, and work on it was continuing.

The new barbecue pavilion was complete except for some electrical installation.

Mayor Jones reported that he and utilities superintendent Steve Pass had come to the conclusion that the sign the council had previously voted to provide to the community center might not be the best idea, given it was to be modeled after the “Welcome to Cleveland” signs erected not too long ago, and those are already deteriorating. He said they are looking at a rock and metal insert type sign, but a price is not available yet. Once it is, he will bring it up again before the council.