DANVILLE — Mayor Mark McClure said he believes the residents of Danville should have a say in how the town spends the $250,000 it is receiving from the American Rescue Plan, whose federal guidelines state it can be used for infrastructure projects.
McClure and the town council discussed during their regular meeting on Sept. 7 how the city could best use the funds.
“I want to hold a town meeting and discuss the Rescue Plan funding and let them hear what we are thinking and get their input,” McClure said. “I say we throw it out there and if anybody has better ideas, we’ll definitely listen.”
He added, “We need to be able to justify to the public what we feel the right thing to do is and get their feedback.”
One potential project for the funds could be storm-drain issues in the downtown area on Park and Phipps avenues that have traditionally caused standing water during storms and heavy rainfall.
E.L Robinson Engineering Project Manager Jeff Petry spoke to the council about this particular problem area and others in a presentation that offered insight into identifying projects of critical need.
McClure said he thinks retired town maintenance workers often offer the best insight into identifying lines, their history of repair and even the layout of the grid, which is more than 80 years old.
“That is one of those things when we do full-scale work I like to do,” Petry said. “I like finding those guys who were around and sometimes even saw those projects built, because they can provide insight that is invaluable to a project. They have a lot of insight because they’ve dug this stuff up and repaired it themselves.”
McClure said that, in his 40 years as mayor, the town has followed the same process before any project is started.
“Any project that is $2,500 or more, we put it out for bid,” he said. “It’s just a practice that we follow and give everybody a chance to bid.”
Petry said identifying the trouble spots is the first step to prioritizing how to use the funding.
“I’m sure there are other areas that may need looked at where you have residents who experience high water any time it rains,” he said.
McClure responded, “We know we have a problem in town and we want to address those things right now. Whatever we need to do, we have to address the draining issues.”
Petry said the 600-foot job in question would cost in the neighborhood of $175,000 to remedy, including asphalt restoration to finish the project.
McClure suggested a public meeting to discuss the funding. No action regarding potential projects was taken and the council looks to continue the discussion at its October session.
Danville Town Council meets at 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday of month at the Danville Community Center, 731 Hopkins Ave. Call 304-369-5428.