Helena-West Helena City Council members approved $229,639 for street paving and drainage projects Tuesday night and agreed that the city’s infrastructure needs attention.

Helena-West Helena City Council members approved $229,639 for street paving and drainage projects Tuesday night and agreed that the city’s infrastructure needs attention.  The funds will address a high traffic area and drainage issues that need immediate attention.  Hill & Hill will begin the work as soon as possible.
Bids were opened with Hill & Hill submitting the only “acceptable” offer, said Helena-West Helena Mayor James Valley.
The original cost for the various projects came in at $439,904 and during the session, Valley and the council whittled down the costs to $229,639 by eliminating some projects and by deciding to use part-time city crews for some of the tasks.
Council member Joe St. Columbia asked Michael Marlar, engineer with Marlar Engineering and Raymond Hill of Hill & Hill about eliminating the flooding problem on Springdale Road.
Valley reported that he spoke to Hill about the problem.  The sides of the road where it floods is higher than the middle, causing rain water to collect on the road at the base of a hill near the 10th and Anderson street intersection, explained Valley.  The council and Hill discussed installing a drain and raising the elevation of the road as possible solutions.
Hill said the city needed to find an outlet for the water. He said that his company originally built the road in 1962 and was very familiar with it.
Other areas in the city that need attention also were discussed.
The Dominion area experiences bad flooding that puts water at some residents’ doorsteps, reported Council Member Roy Reynolds.  The Ashlar ditch problem also was discussed.
“We’ve got infrastructure that’s just falling apart,” said Council member Jay Hollowell.
“You really need a master plan for the whole city,” said Marlar.
“I know we have more paving and drainage that needs to be done,” said Valley.
Several options were discussed for cutting costs including paving at one inch instead of two inches on Springdale Road. The council decided to stick with the two-inch thick paving.
“We’ll come back with the financing and master plan,” said Valley so that other problem areas in the city could be addressed including the lists that some council members submitted for street paving and repairs.
Marlar said that HUD often gives cities grants for street and drainage projects and would gather information about that for the council.
Hill said he would begin “right away” on the approved projects.  A pre-construction meeting will be scheduled and Hill invited any person interested to the gathering.