Surgoinsville may borrow money in 2019-20 for major paving project

Jeff Bobo • Jul 10, 2019 at 8:30 PM

SURGOINSVILLE — The 2019-20 budget approved by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday evening maintains the same city services with no property tax increase, but there are not a lot of extras.

Absent from the budget is a substantial amount of paving which Mayor Merrell Graham said is needed throughout the town, particularly in the Stewart Landing subdivision.

The budget includes only $30,000 for routine street maintenance.

Graham told the Times-News after Monday’s BMA meeting, however, that sometime during the current fiscal year the board will be discussing the possibility of borrowing several hundred thousand dollars to complete needed paving.

First, the BMA will develop a priority list of roads that need to be repaired, Graham added.

“We have been in discussion about maybe doing a fairly large paving project and probably borrow money if we go that way,” Graham said. “Everybody wants their road paved, and of course most of Stewart Landings are voters, and they’re pretty vocal, and there’s some problems up there.”

Graham added, “We asked for an estimate from one of the paving companies, and they said before we do any paving at Stewart’s Landing, we’re going to have to spend between $80,000 to $100,000 getting all the water drainage corrections made, or we’ll be wasting our time paving there. The road, the way it was built, is not crowned, and the water won’t run off of it. Nothing was done right at Stewart Landing, and it’s going to be a big project.”

The estimated cost of paving alone at Stewart Lading is a half-million dollars. Graham admitted that may seem high, but he noted that the roads were built wider in that subdivision.

Some paving projects will take place later this year using funds that carried over from the 2018-19 budget when they were originally approved.

Among the areas planned for paving are Forest View Road, Arnold Road and Zion Hill Road.

As for the budget approved Monday, the property tax rate will remain at $1.20, and the appropriations in the 2019-20 spending plan total $900,692.

Graham said it’s a tight budget, with a projected surplus of only about $500, and the town’s reserve fund balance currently sits around $55,000.