WARSAW — Warsaw’s Street Superintendent Jeff Beeler told the Warsaw Common Council on Monday, July 16, that the town’s ongoing street improvement projects cannot be quantified at present because not enough time has passed since his department began trying to make the town’s roads last longer.
“We’re doing what has been proven to make our road network do better over time,” Beeler said. “But if you don’t give it the over time part, you’ll never know.”
Beeler presented to the council as part of a proposed ordinance to appropriate additional funds for the Motor Vehicle Highway Fund. Beeler said there have been many improvements in recent months and pointed to a grant as having been helpful in financing those road enhancements. He pointed out, however, that the money received from the Community Crossings Matching Grant Program had been used and that winter had also made additional repairs necessary.
“We had a pretty rough first half of this year in the winter,” Beeler said. “So, we knew some additional projects were going to come up anyway so we’ve been talking to him [Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer] about doing additional funding to help cover some of that stuff.”
Beeler said the grant helped finance the ongoing work to Clark and Colfax streets, as well as several other roadways. “So, I’m taking those projects we didn’t get awarded and we’re just getting money to help finish some of those out, plus the additional ones that were damaged from this winter.”
Councilman Jack Wilhite asked Beeler if there was a way to measure the longevity of newly-paved roads.
“I’d like to see some evidence of the progress that we’ve made in making our streets last longer, I guess,” said Wilhite. “I know we put together a whole program, and that’s good, we’re making progress, we’re making the steps. It’d be kind of nice to know how that’s doing. Are we getting the bang for the buck that we thought we would?”
Beeler said the street department had changed from a “mill and pave only process to a pavement preservation program” and reminded the council that only time would tell if the new paving processes gave the city’s roads more staying power.
“Until you’ve played that life cycle out, and you’ve bought in that program, you don’t know for sure how long it’s going to take you,” Beeler said.
The street department requested $300,000 from the MVH fund. The council approved the first reading of an ordinance and will hear the second reading at the next council meeting.
In other business:
- Thalllemer told the council that Warsaw Fire Chief Michael Wilson could not attend the meeting and gave an update on the town’s new fire station. “We’ll probably be ready for an open house sometime in August or September,” said Thallemer.
- The council approved the reading of an ordinance for the Tru Hotel Annexation Fiscal Plan.
- Approved a fund transfer request by City Planner Jeremy Skinner of $106,000 from Capital Outlays to Professional Services within the Redevelopment Allocation Budget. The transfer, according to Skinner, will facilitate the finishing of designs for the Buffalo Street Plaza.