Crude oil prices are on the decline, and Elkin town officials want to take advantage of the low prices to include more paving projects in the coming warm months.
In a presentation to the Elkin Board of Commissioners during its annual retreat Friday, Public Works Director Robert Fuller presented three proposals on how to address paving needs in the town in the coming months.
“Crude oil is down to $26 a barrel,” reported Town Manager John Holcomb, who said it typically runs $30 or more.
“It will be March before they will crank up the asphalt plant,” said Fuller, noting that the prices will be set and they may continue to drop.
Fuller and Holcomb suggested to the commissioners that the town double up on paving projects and go ahead and do the projects for 2017 as well.
“The town has 126 streets totaling about 30 miles of pavement,” said Fuller. “The life expectancy of a street is 20 years depending on traffic volume and weather.”
Twenty-nine streets are left in Elkin which have not been paved in the past 20 years, he reported.
A few of those are what he called specialized paving, because they have concrete bases below the asphalt. Those include Church Street, Gwyn Avenue, Surry Avenue, and West Main Street. It costs $100,000 to grind them down to the concrete and repave them, he said.
After seeing the proposals, the commissioners unanimously voted in favor of going for proposal one and authorizing Holcomb to find the best funding options for the project.
The first of his proposals will complete paving on 23 streets by Carl Rose & Sons at a cost of $481,000, which Fuller said is $123,000 cheaper than it would have been last year. “It is down to almost $19 a foot,” he said.
The 23 streets on the proposal includes paving Arnold Street, Auburn Street, Brandon Street, Chatham Drive, Commerce Street, East Robin Road, Eller Street, North Front Street, Green Valley Road, Graham Street, Harris Avenue, James Street, Masonic Drive, Myers Street, Newman Road, North Brenhaven Drive, Northwood Drive, Ridge Street, South Street, Spruce Street, Standard Street, Veneer Street and Westwood Lane.
Fuller’s other two options would have cost $283,640 for nine streets and one specialized project, or $165,160 for the traditional allotment of streets as have been tackled in more recent years.
The $481,000 project will include using $87,000 in Powell Bill funding, which is money provided to municipalities from the state based on the miles of streets for which a town is responsible.
Holcomb said he will be working with a bank or other funding source to see about borrowing the funding, likely with half in the 2015-16 fiscal year and half in the 2016-17 fiscal year, which begins July 1.
Rather than wait to make a decision during the budget process, commissioners chose to go ahead with the vote after hearing from Fuller, who wants to get in line with the paving company before it starts doing state paving projects.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.