Borger to continue seal coating program

MICHELLE BERRYManaging The City of Borger is planning to continue its street seal coating program into the upcoming year.During a special session Wednesday, the council approved action on an interlocal agreement between Borger and other communities for the 2011 seal coat program.Ted Dodd, director of public works, said it is the fourth year the City of Borger has participated in the seal coat program. The agreement allows the city to go in with Wheeler, Panhandle, and other southern communities, so bids will come in at a better price.He said the program will cover streets in south of Third Street, north of Wilson Street, east of Cedar Street, and west of Main Street.Mayor Pro-Tem Robert Vinyard asked Dodd how things were progressing with the spur on Roosevelt in front of the new hospital. Dodd said he had no idea.Borger City Manager Eddie Edwards said the spur was more or less a dead issue, with the State of Texas indicating it does not want to be involved in any way.Vinyard said he indicated at budget time that he thought the city should quit participating in this program for a period of years to save up funds for the project.He said he wondered if the funds being put into the seal coating project should be used towards the spur project.Dodd said he understood Vinyard’s concerns. However, he said from his statistics, the current hospital’s location is in a worse-traveled next to a school and is nothing but two-lane roads, and there are no problems in that area that cannot be resolved.Right now he said although it would be nice to see Roosevelt Street curbed and guttered, it is no worse than the area than the one in which the hospital is currently located.Looking at it from an engineering standpoint, he said he didn’t see how it was possible. Dodd said it would be nice if the street could be set up with two lanes, a turn lane and curb and gutter all the way down to the Frank Phillips College campus. However, he said he didn’t the seal coating program should be halted.“I really feel our seal coating program must continue,” he said. “If I could do anything, I’d want another $250,000 a year for seal coating.”Council member Charles Gillingham said that several years ago, the City of Borger did not do seal coating on its streets and was now having to pay the price for that, saying it was something that could not be made up for in the long run.Mayor Jeff Brain said he hoped the spur project was still a possibility, because there are some other options to pursue. Edwards said it was likely that state funding for such a project probably would not materialize. In other business, the council discussed the evaluation of Edwards as city manager and his contract renewal in an executive session. Upon return to open session, the council approved him for a renewal of contract set to begin April 1, 2011. He has been serving as the city manager since the retirement of Wanda Klause last year.Also discussed during the closed session was the potential purchase of water rights. The council held discussion with Kent Satterwhite of the Canadian River Municipal Water Authority. No action was taken on the potential purchase.In other business, the council cast two votes for Highway 207 corridor representatives to the Panhandle Rural Planning Organization. Votes were cast on behalf of Dodd, who was nominated in February by the council as a potential representative; and John DeSha, who serves as the Director of Public Works in Spearman.The PRPO was created in August of 2010 in response to state recognition of Rural Planning Organizations as a valid transportation planning organization. The group was originally comprised of only county judges in the region’s 17-county area. In December, the judges agreed that municipal representation should also be included in the group.