Sebastian unveils plan for road repair

SEBASTIAN — Sebastian City Manager Al Minner last week unveiled a plan to meet the goals the city council has set for fixing its roads, but it won’t be cheap, or quick for that matter.

Minner estimated the price tag to be about $2.7 million and the time frame to be several years. He said the city could pay for the paving gradually out of property taxes.

“This year we increased taxes with the specific note that these funds were to help with street paving and those types of things,” Minner said.

Minner discussed how the jobs would be bid out, noting that he thinks the city has learned some lessons from the paving project on South Easy Street that was not constructed properly and did not hold up well.

He said the city has a reliable paving contractor that he would like to use, but he recommended bidding out the project piecemeal – segment by segment – to ensure that each street was completed to the city’s specifications with no long-term commitment to one company.

It was suggested by Minner that companies be asked to bid out the grinding and leveling part of the job and the asphalt paving part separately, hopefully producing the best deal for the taxpayers.

The first street that is scheduled to be worked on is Englar Drive from Barber Street to George Street in the Sebastian Highlands. Minner estimated that would cost about $145,000.

Minner said the city has started using a contractor to inspect road projects and that this has worked out well and resulted in better outcomes and fewer instances where projects need to be torn up and redone than when city staff was doing the inspections.

The council agreed that the road paving project was something Minner could handle under his administrative authority to carry out the directive the council gave him at budget time of keeping the roads in good condition.

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