published Sunday, October 20th, 2013

Jasper leaders approve deal to repave crumbling city road

JASPER, Tenn. — City leaders have approved a deal among Jasper, Marion County and the county's 911 board to repave First Street from Oak Avenue to the end of the county 911 Center's property.

The Jasper Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted 4-1 last week to pay one-third of the $7,000 cost for county workers to repave the road.

Each of the three entities will pay $2,333, officials said, but it will be Jasper's responsibility to make sure the work is done.

The County Commission voted 13-1 recently to approve its payment to Jasper for the work.

"I've been down that road, and down to the 911 Center, it is an embarrassment," Alderman Leon Rash said. "I've been on wagon trains that have a smoother road."

The Jasper board considered paving all of First Street from Oak Avenue to Magnolia Avenue, which is only about 210 feet more.

Mayor Paul Evans said the city would have to pay for that extra work, and it would cost a total of $5,789, including Jasper's partnership with the county and 911 board.

Rash said the remaining length of road is "pretty good" and there are other city roads that deserve attention first.

"We have other streets, in my opinion, that are worse," he said.

Alderman Steve Looney said he voted 'no' because he thought paving the entire street was the best idea.

The current price is "fairly reasonable" to go ahead and pave all of First Street, he said.

"We might save money by doing it now instead of waiting until later," Looney said. "I did not vote 'no' on paving the street. What I'm saying is we need to go on down [and finish the entire street]."

Evans said he would "love to go all the way down" to Magnolia Avenue, but that part of the street is in "pretty good shape with the exception of a couple of spots."

Maple Avenue, on the other hand, is a "disgrace," he said.

"We're going to have to address [Maple Avenue], and I think, pretty soon," Evans said.

Ryan Lewis is based in Marion County. Contact him at ryanlewis34@gmail.com.

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