Nagging street problems will get attention under a new plan for aldermen to inspect street wear and damage under complaint in their wards.
Alderman Herb Adams, acting president of the board, said he launched the street inspection program aimed at making emergency street repairs such as filling potholes and fixing broken curbs that create a danger to motorists or pedestrians.
The public works department is responsible for street repairs.
Major street repairs, such as reconstruction and resurfacing, are scheduled through budget planning and county, state and federal transportation grant applications.
Adams said he and other aldermen have been concerned that people are coming to city meetings to complain about street repairs that should have been made years ago.
Adams told The Missourian that he and Alderman Ed Gass met with Mayor Steve Myers and City Administrator Steve Roth to explain the board members’ role in emergency repairs.
“We told them that we would be making inspection tours of city streets to look at the problems citizens have complained about,” he said.
Adams said he feels that so much control is being placed on the public works department that Commissioner Robert Brueggemann was hampered from acting on his own.
“When I approached Robert (Brueggemann) about why a specific repair wasn not made, he said he had been told to hold off,” Adams said. “Ed and I think the right way to do this is for aldermen to inspect the problem areas and make a motion in the city board meeting to require that repairs be made.”
Adams said since he has been elected acting president of the board of aldermen last April, he had noticed that Alderman Carol Johnson routinely brought requests from her constituents to board meetings.
“If the administration does not have time to follow up on citizen complaints, it is the job of aldermen to respond to what their constituents need,” he said.
Adams said this past week he and Gass rode around to inspect several problems that had been identified, including one that Johnson has brought to the board several times.
“We have some old problems that keep getting shoved off,” he said.
Adams said he and Gass see the actions by aldermen as an aid to the public works department and administration, not as a criticism.
“The only way to bring this forward is for aldermen to identify the need and come to the board meeting with a motion that gives instructions to the administrator and public works department,” he said. “Ultimately, it is the job of aldermen to make sure that the city functions.”
Adams said he sees the drive-throughs as a way for the city to systematically evaluate street conditions, but much more is needed for the city to maintain its streets.
Many of the citizens’ complaints about streets that are wearing out will be solved if voters approve Prop S, a half-cent special transportation sales tax, that will be on the April 2 municipal election ballot.
Adams said for Pacific to be the city that citizens want it to be, it is essential that the city maintain its streets.
“I strongly urge voters to go to the polls and vote yes on Prop S,” he said.