SHADY SHORES — Officials in Shady Shores said they plan to keep their commitment to aggressively repair town streets and drainage moving forward into the next fiscal year after already investing more than $600,000 this year.
According to a town engineer’s road survey in 2012, the town identified more than $5 million in road and drainage repairs, and many of the roads listed were identified as needing major reconstruction.
Toward the end of 2012, the town council agreed to begin a multi-year plan to make the improvements, and during recent council meetings, officials have stated that they would like to budget the same level of funds toward the project.
However, the amount of investments will vary based on the budgets year to year, council members said.
The town has scheduled a few budget workshop sessions in preparation to finalize the budget, and they’re waiting to receive property tax values before setting expenditures in stone.
A 10-member town-appointed committee helped the city with identifying the repairs. Committee chairwoman Judith Halaszyn said the committee agreed that if road improvements are not addressed soon, road quality could worsen because of heavier traffic. Many of the roads have already begun to decay because of increased traffic, she said.
Major road and drainage work is currently in progress along Shady Shores Road and Garza Road near the new middle school scheduled to open this fall. The work is expected to continue through Aug. 26.
Former Mayor Jerry Williams, who stepped down in May and who helped lead the project, said the aggressive road repairs are a priority for the town and will take several years to complete. This fiscal year, the town allocated more than $600,000 in its budget to road repair and maintenance, using about $480,000 from its reserves to help put in a dent in the project.
Not all of the road and drainage issues can be fixed in one budget year without a substantial tax increase, town officials said.
Town officials went through an evaluation in early 2012 of all of its roads using the town’s road engineer and a contractor consultant to come up with a financial estimate of what it would take to make all town roads function properly with the correct maintenance and refurbishing.
In the engineer’s report, officials identified more than 30 roads that needed to be reconstructed and about six roads needing minor patch work. The engineer’s report also included several drainage issues along 11 roads.
Officials said the town could have a few options to help complete the repairs and improvements, which include partnering with the county or forming interlocal agreements with the neighboring Lake Cities communities to help reduce costs.
City officials said the town has one such agreement with Lake Dallas to get a section of road shared by the two municipalities repaired. In addition, the town also shares the cost of repairs on Dobbs Road with Corinth.
County officials also offered to help the town repair its roads, but because the county is responsible for road maintenance in unincorporated areas, the town would be placed on a long waiting list.
The next council meeting is scheduled at 7 p.m. Aug. 5 at Town Hall, 101 S. Shady Shores Road.
JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter at @JDHarden.