The city council on Tuesday evening passed a resolution that will allow the city to hire an outside contractor to repair potholes throughout the city.
“The department is going 9-5, overtime — they’re doing all they can,” said Julio Tavarez, chairman of the public works committee, of the city’s public works department.
Tavarez said since the last snow storm the department had a crew out on the street fixing potholes, but at a very slow pace. “Since the last snow storm nothing has happened because we’re moving so slow,” said the chairman.
Every city street is littered with potholes; residents have been attending council meetings for the past months asking council members and the administration to address the problem.
“This resolution is coming out because the council said we need to fix the potholes,” said Tavarez. “This is an emergency resolution to go out there and get somebody that can help the department.”
Charles Thomas, city’s business administrator, said public works workers have been working overtime to repair potholes, but due to equipment shortage the results have been almost invisible. “We only have limited supply of trucks,” said Thomas.
The business administrator said in order to have an effective campaign to repair potholes throughout the city the department can use some outside help. “We will utilize our manpower, and they will bring their own personnel,” said Thomas.
“We’re going to spend taxpayer money let’s spend it on folks who live in and work here,” said Kenneth Morris, councilman at-large, while suggesting the city hire temporary public works employees to attack the potholes.
“We should actually take a look at: is it more cost effective to lease two or three trucks and put our men to work as opposed to sending this money out of town,” said Morris, while advancing a hire locals position.
Tavarez, 5th Ward councilman, said, “What Councilman Morris said makes sense for preparation for the future, but right now this is an emergency: you have streets that are just not drivable.”