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Starkville aldermen OK numerous drainage, street projects


Carl Smith



Five Starkville aldermen unanimously approved the city's proposed Fiscal Year 2014 capital improvements work list for roads, drainage systems and sidewalks with little discussion and no modifications from the table during a Tuesday recess meeting. 


The plan will address eight drainage projects, including the board's previous obligation to Carver Drive's ditch woes, seven road projects and facilitate a Garrard Road sidewalk connector for an estimated $1.24 million. 


Starkville previously obligated itself to a majority of the total package's cost -- Carver Drive improvements are estimated at $697,700, while road work in Bay Meadows and Kerkling subdivisions will cost a combined $198,000 and Lynn Lane right-of-way acquisitions have a $132,000 price tag. 


To fund the project list, the city will draw from its capital improvements line item, earmarks specific for the Carver Drive project, the board of aldermen's contingency fund and a $628,000 CAP loan. 


The plan will address numerous small-ticket, storm drainage projects in areas including Huntington Park, Pleasant Acres and Colonial Hills; Priority 7 street improvements for Gillespie and Montgomery streets, Forrest Hill Drive and the Highland Estates subdivision; and the construction of a Sycamore Street speed table. 


A small group of Huntington Park residents spoke in support of the plan during the board's public hearing on the matter, as it addresses inlets and storm drainage improvements for Dover Court, but few other public comments were made.  


Aldermen signaled they would hold developers accountable for infrastructure pledges after Spruill Property Management owner Lynn Spruill questioned the board about Bay Meadows and Kerkling subdivision road work. The city committed to infrastructure improvements, Mayor Parker Wiseman said, after developers failed to construct suitable roads as once promised. 


While potential litigation to secure funding for improvements in the future is possible, Wiseman said it was unfair to tell residents they cannot have access to proper infrastructure until a legal matter is settled. 


Ward 1 Alderman Ben Carver and Ward 4 Alderman Jason Walker were absent from Tuesday's meeting.


Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch



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