During his campaign for mayor, Jim McCamy repeatedly said that Scottsboro needed to think further ahead and cooperate with more entities in its road paving. Now, roughly three months into his term as mayor that collaboration is beginning to produce results.
In December, McCamy worked with City Council President Richard Bailey to establish a Street Resurfacing Advisory Committee that included council members Mike Ashburn and Nita Tolliver to select a set of roads to pave.
Before the committee met, however, McCamy had already worked with the city’s department heads and City Engineer Josh Little to identify which roads were most in need of resurfacing.
“These guys are on these streets every day, they know better than anybody which streets are the worse and which ones need it the most,” said the mayor adding that this process has made the selection a collective opinion as opposed to the decisions of an individual.
Currently, these roads are being placed into packages by Little. These packages will consist of groups of roads that are close to each other to allow for a lower cost of paving them.
“One of the things that we’ve found that we can get a better price on with resurfacing is identifying streets that are close together and bid together,” said McCamy. The mayor added that the cost savings is based on a contractor not needing to redeploy workers and equipment for paving projects.
McCamy has also involved the Water, Sewer and Gas Board to ensure that roads the city plans to pave during the Spring and Summer aren’t already scheduled for work by the utility board later in the year.
“There are some streets that are probably worse,” said McCamy about the selections for 2021 paving, “but there are projects scheduled for later in the year and we don’t want to do something and then have it dug up later in the year.”
According to the mayor this has already allowed the city to begin working on a longer-term plan, with some roads having already been placed as priorities for either 2022 or 2023 to avoid wasting money.
“The one’s that we’re picking right now have base failures,” said McCamy, noting that many of the projects being looked at will be completely repaved as opposed to continually resurfacing the roads throughout the city.
According to the mayor, the committee has focused creating a list for 2021 paving as the bidding process typically takes place in March. He hopes that once the list is finished and bid that the committee will begin to reevaluate the process and focus on creating a five-year plan.
McCamy hopes to have the road packages presented to the City Council by the end of the month to get their input before putting them up for bid in March.
The mayor hopes to be as efficient as possible with the road selection so that they can avoid leaving money unspent at the end of the year.
“The whole council has been great to work with,” said McCamy, “We think this is a good process, and we think that it involves everybody.”