Lanett got the short end of the stick with street paving

Published 6:30 pm Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Lanett City Council took a perfectly understandable action Monday night by revoking a contract with Chris Clark Grading & Paving to resurface nine streets in the city. In early June, the city awarded the local company a $300,000 bid to pave those streets over the next 60 days. That period expired August 4th, and the streets have yet to be paved.

When something like this happens, unhappy citizens don’t call the contractor with complaints, they call the mayor.

Mayor Kyle McCoy, no doubt, has been deluged with calls wanting to know “When is my street going to get paved? We read in the paper it was going to be this summer!”

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“Everybody blames the mayor,” McCoy told me in his office on Monday.

Had it been an out-of-town contractor, this action would have been taken by mid-August. It’s now in the middle of September and those streets have yet to be resurfaced, and they won’t be for some time to come.

It will take time to invite bids and then have a bid opening. One never knows with such action. The bids could come in much higher than what’s expected, and it’s possible no bids will come in at all.

The one thing that’s certain is that those who drive streets in Lanett a good bit are not happy with the condition of the streets that were supposed to be paved by August 4th. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s had to have a front-end alignment and to have some new tires.

One thing that makes driving along North Lanier Avenue so nice is that you’re not on any of the other nine streets that desperately need some work. North Lanier is beautiful these days, and anyone who had any part in it deserves our thanks. Chris Clark is among those who did outstanding work on Phases I and II of the downtown streetscape. North Lanier is a very smooth ride right now. It also makes for some good walking along the new sidewalks.

Mayor McCoy and members of the council are commended for the vision they had to make this a reality. We do hope the other nine streets – South 8th Avenue, South 8th Street, Jennings Avenue, South 14th and South 15th streets, South 3rd Avenue, North 12th Street and North 4th Avenue – can get some paving work done before we have to take our vehicles back to the shop for another alignment.

Let’s not be too rough on Chris Clark. When you see him at a job site you’d swear he’s one of the hardest working people you can ever see. He and his wife Denise are really good people. Obviously, this has been a very busy summer for road work, and one can’t be in two places at once.

It’s tough, though, to be given the short end of the stick.