The Laurinburg City Council is expected to approve a $34.3 million budget tonight following a public hearing.
Jerry Glover said he “would love” for improvements to his property off Beta Street to be one of the projects included for funding next year.
But Glover isn’t holding out much hope. Nor should he, city officials say.
Laurinburg leaders think the project may be too costly to try to tackle in the fiscal 2013-14 budget. There is also some concern that the neighbors living near the site may not want to chip to pay for their cost of project.
Public Utilities Director Stacey McQuage said that in the version of the budget tentatively approved by the city council earlier this month, no funding had been include for road paving, on Beta Street or anywhere else.
Laurinburg Mayor Tommy Parker said that the city ranks roads in order of priority.
“His road ranks around 25,” Parker said.”We haven’t included any funds for paving any roads in this budget. And I would think that because of its rank his road won’t be paved in the foreseeable future.”
According to McQuage, Glover had informally expressed an interest in requesting that the ditch near his property be tiled, but that a petition for the request had not been filed.
“Mr. Glover even asked to withdraw his petition,” McQuage said.
But Glover insists that he still wants the improvements.
The unpaved road floods every time there is a heavy rain, making the street almost impassable and attracting snakes and rodents, according to Glover.
“It happens every time it rains,” Glover said. “The more rain we have, the more flooding we get.”
Glover blames the flooding on how he said the city has re-directed water flow in the area.
At a council meeting earlier this year, council tabled Glover request so city staff could collect more information and get a cost estimate.
Council also informed Glover that if the project was approved, the costs of the pavement and the curb and guttering might be assessed to residents of the street.
“I own 75-percent of the property and would be willing to pay my part to have this fixed,” Glover said.
Councilman Drew Williams said he would like feedback from others likely to be responsible for paying the assessments.
“If they are not going to pay then we are wasting our time, right?” said Councilman JD Willis said at the time.
Glover argues that council members told him that improvements like the one he requested might be included in a list of paving and renovation projects that the city might include in the budget.
He said he now thinks the city “was just giving me the run around.”
“This has been going on for 10 years at least,” Glover said. “They said that they were going to do something about it during the budget. But they haven’t done a thing. Every time I talk to them, they give me a different story.”