by Dan McClelland
The annual autumn blacktopping of village streets by the department of public works, in concert with the county's highway department and its paving equipment, began last Tuesday.
Town paving projects with the county apparently concluded last Monday.
On Thursday the Free Press photographer found the joint village-county crew on Woods Ave., as the photos attached show.
According to DPW Superintendent Bob DeGrace the list of street scheduled for new coats of blacktop this fall are Front, Arden Lindsey, Amell Lane, part of Cedar near Tupper Lake Supply and Maple Street.
Mr. DeGrace told village leaders that there has been a lot of demand for asphalt across the North Country this year- pushing back a number of projects for local towns and villages.
Trustee Clint Hollingsworth wondered if Church and Deer streets were on this year's list.
Village Clerk Mary Casagrain said they weren't, as new laterals to many of the homes there still have to be installed.
Mr. Hollingsworth said those streets are very bad and in need of major re-construction soon.
Trustee Ron LaScala said that once the water and sewer line work is done there next year the village might be better off hiring a private contractor to do the paving work.
“We don't have the manpower to tackle projects like that.”
“Then maybe we should contract out the work?” suggested Deputy Mayor Leon LeBlanc.
“I agree!” said Trustee LaScala.
Officials at the table that evening agreed that those two streets needed major reconstruction- including new water and sewer mains.
Trustee LaScala said a major redo like that shouldn't be tackled by the village DPW and sewer and water crews, but left to a private contractor. “Our guys should be focusing on our many smaller projects” in coming years, he argued.
“They should be maintaining our infrastructure, not building it!”
Village Clerk Mary Casagrain said “it is very expensive to contract out” to the work. She remembered when the village attempted to go that route a decade ago when it redid Water Street. The price for a private contractor to rebuild the street at that time was $750,000.
Mayor Maroun said the board could look at contracting out the work needed on those two streets, and at least get prices.
In other DPW matters that evening, Mr. DeGrace said the new pick-up truck his department ordered recently on state contract has arrived.
He received board permission to advertise for sale the old 2006 pick-up it replaces on the popular equipment sale web site, Auctions International.