Residents sound off on road issue

Two months ago residents went to the city council begging for a solution to eliminate the gravel on the roads outside of their homes.

A chip seal was then put on 25th Street, 27th Street, Valley View Road, Hilltop Road and Fremont Street to eliminate the access gravel.

“We appreciate what the city attempted to do with our streets, however it’s a big failure,” Jack Carkhuff, a resident on Hilltop Drive said Monday night at the city council meeting. “Why on God’s great earth would anybody be so crazy to chip and seal it?”

Carkhuff was one of more than a dozen people that attended the meeting because they are unhappy about the roads they live on.

“We still have a lot of dust, we have a lot of gravel, it’s a shame that we have that happen within our neighborhood and in the city anywhere,” Carkhuff said. “You have collected our tax money for 50 years, you took us in and we were gravel. Guess what? We’re gravel again. Why would you take a hard service street and chip and seal it? That is utterly stupid.”

Randy Wetmore, city administrator, said the reason the chip and seal was put on the roads was to give it a foundation.

“When I was out there before, the street was really falling apart,” Wetmore said. “To be able to go and put asphalt on top of that base that is there would have been a total waste of money. When you have that kind of base you really can’t go back with an inch and a half of asphalt or three inches of asphalt because there is not that base there.”

Carkhuff said that was an excuse.

“What are we suppose to do with this mess you created?” Carkhuff said.

Bruce Campbell, assistant to the city engineer, said he was in contact with the contractor.

“We have a meeting set for this Thursday to have them come back out and find those areas that have too much rock to get that swept up and then have city crews take it from there,” Campbell said.

Ray McKimpson, operations manager for Cessford Construction Company, the contractor for those roads, said they swept away the heavy rocks.

Some of the audience at the council meeting yelled “no.”

“I feel bad because people aren’t happy,” McKimpson said. “We’re here to work with you.”

McKimpson explained chip seal is a multiyear process. He said the first layer is the first step.

“You need probably four or five layers and gradually your timeframe will extend with the layers,” McKimpson said. “You have product that was probably 20 years old when it was put down 25 years ago.”

McKimpson said the existing oil deteriorated.

“So you put this down and then after we put this coating down and at that time we could’ve put another layer of oil down, we decided not to,” McKimpson said. “As of 4:30 (Monday) was the first time I really heard there was a problem.”

McKimpson said the surface underneath is rattling apart.

“One of the problems the contractor had is the street itself sucked up so much of the oil and they were putting the rock down it didn’t have a chance to get mixed in and with that the rock couldn’t get adhered,” Campbell said. “It kept turning and that’s where that extra rock came from.”

Wetmore said it’s the council’s intent to have it swept one more time.