04/18/12 — City Council discusses Christmas decorations

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City Council discusses Christmas decorations

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on April 18, 2012 1:46 PM

Monday's meeting of the Goldsboro City Council featured a heavy dose of presentations during the Council's 5 p.m. work session as city department heads addressed the board on topics ranging from downtown holiday decorations and street resurfacing to partial management of the Veterans Memorial Park by the city's parks and recreation department.

Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp. Director Julie Thompson discussed the city's holiday decorations downtown and the possibility of replacing those that now hang on utility poles that will be removed as part of the Center Street Streetscape project.

Ms. Thompson showed photos of wreaths that would hang on the street's new light poles on Center Street and explored options for the other portions of the street, including garland for the side streets.

She estimated the cost of the new decorations would be $37,284 plus shipping and handling, which would be paid through a combination of funds, with the bulk of the money ($31,160) coming from the municipal service district funds. The council was encouraged to approve the purchase since the prices were discounted at this time of year.

The Center Street decorations, Ms. Thompson said, would be purchased later as the Streetscape project is implemented.

Street resurfacing was addressed once again as Planning Director Randy Guthrie presented a second draft of alternate streets for the council, featuring additions they requested at the council's meeting March 19.

Guthrie said the aim was to allocate $600,000 for street resurfacing and to get as much done with that sum as possible, beginning with staff's first list of roads.

Mayor Pro Tempore Chuck Allen said the lists seemed to form a two-year plan for street resurfacing and said he would like to see the city allocate only $500,000 for the repairs.

Guthrie's first list includes 19 street sections tapped for repairs at a total cost of $741,663.50.

District 2 Councilman Bob Waller, who has often been vocal about street repairs within the city, was not present at the meeting. Allen asked that he be consulted on the new list, which includes Audubon Avenue, a road he has asked to be considered for two years.

The council then shifted its discussion to a request for an alteration to a requirement placed on the developer of Spence Apartments whereby the stretch of Boxwood Lane leading to new units would need to be paved.

The developer was requesting that it not be required to pave the road since it would benefit others who do not have investment into the residential complex.

Allen said the road was becoming more of a public road through the further development and the council agreed.

"I think the access road needs to be paved," District 3 Councilman Don Chatman said, asking how much it would cost the city to pave it.

Guthrie said the city would pave it to its higher standards, making it a costly choice.

District 4 Councilman Rev. Charles Williams then suddenly shifted the talk back to street resurfacing by asking about the paving of Elm Street, which he has asked for in years past.

Williams noted that Elm Street led to the Slocumb Street and Berkeley Boulevard entrances to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

"What kind of impression does that give?" he asked. "I would think this would be a top priority."

Allen asked what Williams would like to see removed from the list to make room for Elm Street.

"I don't want to take anything off," Williams said.

City Manager Scott Stevens said the cost of repaving only Elm Street would cost about $500,000 and that the "piecemeal" approach Williams took issue with was the best way to spread the resurfacing throughout the city.