A Havre resident got some more answers Wednesday, about issues he raised during Tuesday’s Havre City Council meeting, when he attended the meeting of the council’s Streets and Sidewalks Committee.
Val Murri, saying he wanted to give the council “food for thought,” told its members Tuesday that he wants to see more done to repair potholes on city streets and asked about when he might see the street where he lives, the 700 Block of 8th Avenue, get a chip-seal covering.
He asked the questions to the committee as well.
Murri said the water main on his street was replaced several years ago, and he would like to see a chip seal, which is small gravel embedded in a fresh layer of asphalt or oil laid over a paved surface, put over the street.
He said that he saw 6th Street received a new layer of chip seal this fall and was wondering when his street might see the same.
Public Works Director Dave Peterson said the street in question is on a list to be resurfaced and has been since 2000. It will be done when the money is available, he said.
“It’s not in the budget now,” he said.
Deputy Public Works Director Jeff Jensen added that Murri’s street is fairly high on the list. Having a good water main underneath makes the job more secure, he said. If a main breaks shortly after the chip seal is laid, the city crews have to go back and dig it up again.
Peterson said modern techniques also call for waiting several years after a surface is laid on a street before chip sealing it.
“That extends the life of the street,” he said.
On the issue of potholes, Peterson and Jensen said the crews do what they can. Some might be missed, but Jensen said the bigger problem is the patching wearing off again and the potholes reappearing.
Peterson said the work is done on a priority basis, with earlier attention paid each year to the streets with more traffic.
Peterson said many of the streets in Havre are getting old, leading to more problems with potholes. The only way to make a major improvement is to repave the streets, at a large expense, he said.
Committee member Pam Hillery asked if a special improvement district, where the cost of a low-interest loan to pay for the work is spread amongst all property owners in the district over several years, could be used for paving.
“That’s the only way you’re going to get it done,” Peterson said.
He said the cost could be reduced — both the cost per foot of paving and the cost to each property owner — by spreading it out over a long stretch of the street to be repaved.