Rains delay Parrish road grant project

By ED HOWELL
Posted 3/18/20

PARRISH - Engineer Robert P. Nelson has informed the Town of Parrish that its $350,000 Community Development Block Grant road project has been delayed because of the recent rains in the area. 

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Rains delay Parrish road grant project

Posted

PARRISH - Engineer Robert P. Nelson has informed the Town of Parrish that its $350,000 Community Development Block Grant road project has been delayed because of the recent rains in the area. 

A report was given at the Tuesday, March 10, Parrish Town Council meeting as a number of citizens have been concerned about the fate of the road project and the grant money that was to fund it. 

Alabama has had its wettest winter on record, according to NOAA. "The state as a whole had an average of 24.22 inches of rain in February, which is 8.70 inches above average," AL.com reported. 

At both the council’s work session and formal meeting, officials read a Feb. 18 letter from Nelson Engineering Associates, Inc., of Gardendale that was sent to Mayor La'Tisha Oliver. 

Nelson said "someone" called to ask Nelson about the progress of the project, which Oliver said was a city official asking on behalf of the city.

Oliver noted in the formal meeting citizens “were getting a little upset about nothing being done to the roads yet. They were asking about where the money was, and what had we done with the money. So I think this was good for them to send this information so we can explain why the roads have not been started on.” 

In the letter, Nelson said the contractor for the project, Robertson Excavating Co., had a contract time that started on Jan. 20, with a completion date set for May 5. 

"Unfortunately, the weather conditions since January 20th have not been favorable for this type of work," Nelson wrote. "We do not want to expose the street subgrades and base to the extreme amount of rainfall that we have been experiencing. If this subgrade gets wet, we will have a problem stabilizing the underlying material. This would likely would result in soft, yielding areas which 'pump' and result in potholes due to subgrade failures. This adverse weather has slowed construction and several of our projects.

"I know everyone is anxious to see this work completed. We estimated the contract time to allow some 'weather' delays, but this has been an extremely wet winter so far. We will continue to monitor the project and weather and hopefully will soon see some break in the current rainfall patterns. We, including the Contractor, would like to see this project started and completed as quickly as possible." 

Third Street, Third Avenue, White Street, Clements Alley and Ada Bell Johnson Street are to be worked on in the project. Oliver said material has been put in place for staring the project. 

Oliver said at the meeting that Parrish has “plenty of roads that need to be fixed. A couple of months ago, we got a $12,000 grant to help repair some of our roads. I don’t know how much road we can repair with $12,000, but the council and I will get together and go on a little field trip through the districts and see which ones we could actually do some good on.

"Everyone’s roads won’t be fixed right now. They won’t be fixed right now. But all we can do is try to make the best of the materials and the money that we have to try to do what we can for the roads so they are passable and the vehicles are not being damaged, and the kids are safe on these roads.” 

She said street crews do their best when called out to a road, noting equipment is not available to the town to make repairs that people want. “The town can’t afford that right now. If we could, we would,” she said. “Believe me, everybody’s roads would be fixed. But we do not have the money and the resources to do that. 

“So hopefully, after election time, we will get people in office who will help us fix the roads, or at least put us on the right track to get the help we need to get the roads fixed.”

In other action that night, the council: 

• Heard District 1 Councilman William Smith noted the town’s annual barbecue cookoff is tentatively set for for May 16, with a carnival also set to begin on Wednesday, May 13, and run through Saturday. Dates were hopefully going to be firmed up this week. A number of vendors are interested and a bouncing house for the children will be set up. However, the car show this year is looking doubtful. All the events will be held at the old Parrish High School baseball field. A schedule of events will be announced later. 

• Heard two gasoline tanks, one regular and one diesel, had been installed at the town hall property.  Officials were waiting for an estimate on how much it would cost to put gas in the tanks, as the last quote obtained was taken months ago. Heard the mayor say city officials are working to get street crews a new truck. 

• Heard Oliver say the town’s finances are looking “so much better,” with major bills being paid on time. She gave credit to daytime municipal crews, saying the advancement would not be possible and also thanking a number of individuals, including Interim City Clerk Jerry Callahan, and groups, including the city council and the police department.

“This is a group effort,” she said. “We’re trying our best to get the town in a place where we don’t have vendors talking about us in the streets that they are not being paid. That is kind of embarrassing. But now that we have a good grip on that, I think we will be fine if everything stays the same and we don’t spend money we don’t need to spend.”

Smith thanked the mayor for spearheading the efforts, as well as accountants Steve and Cindy Ballard. Smith said it has been a long time since the town has been able to pay its bills and have as much money money left over in the bank. Oliver said the town is reconciled in its records through the end of February.