Street paving to proceed in New Castle

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By Cindy DiFazio

Staff writer/photographer

During Monday night’s New Castle City Commission meeting, there was at least some positive news.

Public Works Director Scot Treece requested that the commission obtain bids to resurface several streets this fall. “If we can get some done this fall,” he said, “we can go back in the spring and finish up.”

Treece’s recommendations for immediate attention are the intersection of Kentucky 146 and Center Street as well as the north side of Center Street, the alley below the post office that joins Property Road, Hill Street and some spots in Castle Creek subdivision. “Hill Street is really bad,” he said.

Commissioner Wanda Thurman said New Street also needs to be resurfaced. “A New Street neighbor told me if they didn’t get some pavement they were going to have to start mowing it,” she said. Treece said he would like to get more done, but the city is not receiving funding from the Department of Transportation like it used to. “We are trying to get to the ones that really, really need it now,” he said.

Treece said the roads in Castle Creek will need more attention next year. He said some subdivision streets have spidering cracks and some have developed dips. “We can patch the worst spots now,” Treece said. “Maybe next year we can go in and finish.”

He said the paving will cost $19,644 which the city can take out of County Road Aid funds from the state. Treece said the city has a little more than $70,000 in Road Aid money put back, but suggested the city hang on to the balance for future projects. “We’ve got several sidewalks getting in bad shape,” he said. City Clerk Lynn Adams agreed the city should use only part of the money at this time. “We only get $13,000 to $14,000 a year from Road Aid,” she said.

Treece said a public hearing would have to be scheduled. “I’d like to have the public hearing before the next commission meeting,” he said, “so we can go ahead and get some of this done this fall.” Treece said upcoming winter weather could impact the project. “The quicker we can get it done the better,” he said. “The weather could start getting bad in November and December.”

A public hearing was approved for Thursday, Oct. 23, at 9:30 a.m.

Treece also said he contacted the Kentucky Highway Department regarding a possible traffic signal at Church Street and Kentucky 146. Commission member Tim Royalty reported in September that the high volume of morning and afternoon traffic make crossing dangerous.

Treece said the highway department stated the traffic in New Castle is probably not significant enough to warrant placement of a traffic signal. “They said we would have to experience eight out of 24 hours of the kind of traffic we see in that two hours,” he said. “They said most cities provide a cop for those hours.”

The highway department did offer to conduct a traffic study at the site. Mayor Judy Diederich supported that idea. “That gives us a baseline,” she said. “Then if traffic increases we have a comparison.” Treece said he would schedule the study.

Charlie Sevier reported that the Fall Fling was a success and said the holiday event, Light Up New Castle is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 5, from 5 until 8 p.m. “At 6 there will be a twilight parade,” he said. Sevier said downtown business will host open houses during the event and children can get free pictures taken with Santa.

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