By Lee Weyhrich
CLAY — The Clay City Council is staring down the barrel at several large, unavoidable expenses.
The city is looking at roughly $435,000 in essential paving projects, even after cashing in bonds, City Manager Ronnie Dixon said. The council only has $471,000 in total funds available for road repairs from its 4-, 5- and 7-cent gas funds, as well as its contingency road fund, leaving only $36,000 available after these costs are accrued.
Since the housing crisis, many residential contractors have gone belly up, leaving roads unfinished. According to Clay’s ordinances, once a neighborhood reaches 80 percent completion, the road surface must be completed. Another ordinance requires developers to have a bond that will cover this road completion 100 percent in the event the company is unable to meet its obligation.
Three neighborhoods, Cross Keys, Renwood, and Garden Valley, are estimated to cost $114,000, $22,980, and $22,470 in road repairs, respectively. Garden Valley has gotten so dangerous that the city received notice from the United States Post Office that mail carriers were no longer comfortable delivering to those residents.
Three other streets have also reached critical condition levels. Sandmoor Drive will likely cost the city $107,000 to repair, Canterbury Road is estimated to need $48,150 in repairs and Steeplechase Parkway will likely cost $130,040.
“At least for eight years, there was very little paving done,” Dixon said. “There were some potholes repaired, but there was no money set aside for further maintenance. As you can see, this would pretty much wipe (these funds) out.”
Councilman Kevin Small said he believes the city should take that risk because these repairs can no longer be put off.
Park projects could potentially wipe out the city’s capital funds. Total park improvements are estimated to cost $478,000. The total capital funds are $478,431. The council will likely choose to phase the projects in order of importance, starting with the new restrooms at Cosby Lake Park, Mayor Charles Webster said.