City of Kent increases budget for street, sidewalk repairs

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The extreme temperatures and the abnormally harsh winter at Kent have created cracks and damage to campus roads and sidewalks.

Brooke Bower

The Kent City Council voted by voice April 2 to approve the City of Kent Engineering and Central Maintenance Divisions request for an additional $250,000 for the current $1.1 million 2013-2014 street and sidewalk program.

James Bowling, superintendent of engineering and deputy service director for the city, said additional funding has become necessary with the hard winter taking a toll on the roads, sidewalks and curbs of Kent.

The winter has created more damage than usual from water main breaks and from extreme temperatures and conditions cracking pavement and creating more potholes, Bowling said. The money will come out of the 301 Capital Fund, a fund that is set aside for capital improvements and enhancements to the city.

“The annual street and sidewalk program is used to maintain the existing streets and sidewalks within the city,” Bowling said. ”We’re asking to increase all three programs [within the street and sidewalk program] because they all need it. This winter was worse than ones of recent past.”

Bowling said the current street and sidewalk program’s current budget is $1.1 million with $800,000 budgeted for this year and $320,000 remaining from projects last year that will be finished in this year’s program.

The additional $250,000 will be broken down into the three parts of the street and sidewalk program.

The first part of the program repairs of seal coats on streets and additional repairs on streets that have to be milled and resurfaced will receive $74,000 of the proposed $250,000.

In order for Kent Central Maintenance to purchase additional materials to maintain and repair streets that weren’t included in the original program, it will receive $46,000 of the requested money. During the presentation of the additional money request at the Kent City Council meeting April 2, service director Eugene Roberts said the $46,000 will help in the repairing of potholes on top of the allotted $30,000 currently budgeted from the $1.1 million.

The remaining $130,000 of the $250,000 will allow the city to add streets to the list of concrete repairs, including sidewalks and curbs and the milling and resurfacing of them.

“This extra money would go a long [way] to address the most critical needs so residents won’t have to deal with the poor pavement any longer than necessary,” Bowling said.

Bowling said without this money, the city would have to do less to the streets, sidewalks and curbs because they wouldn’t have enough money with the additional expenses winter weather has caused through accelerated deterioration of the streets and the 23 water main break fixes that have happened since Jan. 1.

“We just ask everyone to be patient and remember we’re trying to get all the areas that we know are out there and even the ones we don’t as we try to get through the hard winter and the mess it left behind,” Bowling said.

Contact Brooke Bower at [email protected].