Rainy weather and equipment problems conspired to reduce the road repairs that Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jerry Beck and his road crew were able to work on in Devine and Natalia.
Beck said at the Devine City Council meeting last Tuesday, August 17 that one contractor does paving work for the entire county, and scheduling issues led to the purchase of their own paving equipment.
“But in the meantime, we’ve had to schedule this one contractor among four precincts,” Beck said.
Rain was also a problem, with one road in Pct. 3 washing out three separate times.
“We’ve had four rain incidents month since May, and we’ve had about three-and-a-half, four inches of rain on average per month this year,” Beck said. “That being said, you can’t pave roads when it rains.
“The scheduling, the rain, the equipment problems with this contractor have led us to the point where we couldn’t do what we wanted to do.”
Work on Devine’s streets should begin soon, though at a reduced scope.
“There is no way we are going to be able to do everything we projected to do in Devine,” Beck said. “We can focus on what we didn’t get done this year, next year.”
In April, each of the five Council members selected approximately one mile of roads in their district to receive a double seal coat courtesy of the Pct. 4 road crew, with just the cost of materials coming from City coffers. Now that work has to be cut back to just one or two streets in the entire town.
“I would suggest that we look at the most heavily traveled, a major thoroughfare, something like that,” Beck said, adding that the work needs to be done before cooler temperatures arrive, likely in October. “We’ve got August and September to mess with if it doesn’t rain.”
Councilman Mike Fernandez said at the Natalia City Council meeting last Monday, Aug. 16 that the Pct. 4 crew would not be paving the section of 8th Street between Miller St. and CR 471 as planned.
“They’re going to finish what they’re doing in front of the schools, and then try to come back next year,” Fernandez said.
Fernandez suggested hiring someone to pave that portion of 8th St., and do work on Miller St. as well.
“Miller’s got to be done,” Councilman Darin Frazier agreed. “We need to get that done, at least two blocks.”
By Marly Davis