The Times West Virginian


August 22, 2013

Fairmont gets positive results from ‘perpetual’ paving program

At the end of 2012, 116 streets covering nearly 16 miles had been paved in Fairmont thanks to funding from the city’s implementation of a street-maintenance fee.

At that point, the $2 weekly fee — charged to people who reside in Fairmont as well as nonresidents who work within city limits — on top of the city’s annual $200,000 contribution to the paving fund had allowed $1.6 million to be pumped into the project in the year since the fee had been approved.

With another fall paving cycle beginning this week in the Friendly City, an estimated $850,000 will be used to pave as many as 60 streets in the coming months. It will be the largest paving cycle since the implementation of the street-maintenance fee.

It’s all part of a plan that is enabling the paving of city streets that have been deteriorating rapidly over the past decade. An added bonus? It’s making Fairmont an attractive place to live and putting the city in position for future growth and development.

As City Manager Jay Rogers said, the paving project should be continu­ously in the works throughout Fairmont.

“My hope is that it would be perpetual,” Rogers said. “Right now we’re on about a 13-year schedule, meaning it would take us 13 years to pave every street. The life of asphalt is about the same, so when we’re finishing we should be starting from scratch all over again to keep it going and not let them fall into that condition again.”

Of course, the road to a successful paving program wasn’t an easy one.

In May 2011, Fairmont City Council approved the $2 weekly fee for those who work within the city limits as well as a $2 weekly fee for those who live within the city.

That wasn’t council’s first choice though. There were three separate ballot options to provide funding to pave Fairmont’s streets. Each of the levies received more than 50 percent of the vote but fell short of reaching the 60 percent supermajority needed to pass.

But something had to be done. The city’s streets were falling into an almost embarrassing state of disrepair. And with 110 miles of streets winding their way through Fairmont, it was a problem that was in desperate need of attention.

When it was first approved, the decision to add the $2 weekly fee wasn’t widely popular, and we acknowledged that the cost is not insignificant for many who live and work in Fairmont.

But as we said then, the price of pothole-filled streets — to those who drive on them and to the city’s image — simply could not be ignored. In the months since the weekly street-maintenance fee was approved, four paving cycles have been completed and many of the city’s streets have benefited from the project. This fall will mark the fifth cycle.

And residents appreciate the results. Last year, Rogers said that as progress continues to be made, residents gain more confidence in the project.

“Some of the fear or reservations that people had was that the city wouldn’t use the funds for what we said we were going to use the funds for, but clearly we have,” Rogers said at the time. “The calls have gone from ‘Is my street ever going to get paved?’ to ‘When is my street going to get paved?’ because they’re seeing results.”

We applauded the city’s efforts when the paving project began, and we continue to support the progress being made as more streets are paved. City leaders are putting the funds to work, and Fairmont — and the people who live and work here — will benefit.

Text Only
  • Unsung heroes handling calls in emergencies are appreciated

    Thankfully, we live in a community where help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just by dialing three numbers — 9-1-1.
    During this week, which is recognized as National Public Safety Tele-Communicator’s Week nationwide, we need to remember that on the other end of that line are the men and women here in this county who are always there in case of accident, crimes, medical emergencies and any other catastrophic event.

    April 18, 2014

  • Message to ‘buckle up and park the phone’ is saving lives

    A figure that we haven’t seen that much in recent years is the highway death toll for a given period.
    Is the death toll up, down or just about the same as it was?
    The West Virginia Southern Regional Highway Safety Program has announced there were 325 highway fatalities in 2013, the second-lowest number on record.

    April 17, 2014

  • State native Burwell can ‘deliver results’ as Health and Human Services secretary

    Sylvia Mathews Burwell might not be a name with which most people are immediately familiar.
    For the past year, she has run the budget office under President Barack Obama.
    Prior to that, she served as president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program and later the Wal-Mart Foundation.

    April 16, 2014

  • Marion scores well in recent health report but could do better

    When it comes to area-wide studies, especially on health, there’s usually good news and bad news.
    So was the recent report on the health of America’s counties released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently. The nationwide county study evaluated health outcomes and health factors, and ranked counties accordingly.

    April 13, 2014

  • COLUMN: ‘Instant’ news not always reliable

    That little word has a pretty big meaning. With origins that date back to the 15th century, it means urgent, current, immediate.
    But think about how that word has developed over the past few decades.
    Instant pudding. Instead of slaving over a hot stove for a few minutes, you can now pour cold milk and with a bit of stirring, instant pudding!

    April 13, 2014

  • Decision to be an organ donor can save lives

    Chelsea Clair watched as her father died waiting for a bone marrow transplant.
    So when she met Kyle Froelich at a car show in 2009 and heard about his struggles to find a kidney that would match his unique needs, she never hesitated to offer hers to the man she just met.

    April 11, 2014

  • Volunteers continue to have priceless impact on community

    Chances are, you know someone who volunteers. Perhaps you’re a volunteer yourself.
    Marion County is full of volunteers.
    They read to our youth.
    They assist nonprofit agencies.
    They serve on boards and committees.
    And in 2013, they spent a day picking up nearly 10 tons of garbage that had been tossed out on public property around Marion County.

    April 10, 2014

  • Proposed school calendar lives up to letter and spirit of law

    West Virginia state law requires that students be in a classroom for 180 days.

    April 9, 2014

  • Strong Fairmont General Hospital badly needed to serve our region

    Mere minutes often matter when it comes to emergency health care.
    That’s why we need a strong Fairmont General Hospital.
    When patients need the services of health-care professionals, having family and friends close at hand is often essential, and their presence may even lead to a better outcome.

    April 6, 2014

  • COLUMN: Fairmont General Hospital vital part of community

    There’s nothing better than holding a newborn baby. It gives you a little feeling that not only is everything right in the world, but this perfect little human represents hope of a future where things will be better than they are today.
    I had that blessed opportunity to hold that hopeful future in my arms last week when I visited my dear friend Jen and her newborn son Tristan at Fairmont General Hospital.

    April 6, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Politics
House Ads