Steenbergen Discusses Granite Shoals Roads, Water and Sewer

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· Road Upgrades and Paving Side Streets

  1. 7 Million Dollar Road Project – The original road project last June was for Phillips Ranch Road only and for approximately 4 million dollars.  I organized the citizens in the “Charge of the Road Brigade” and we advocated adding Prairie Creek and Valley View as a pre condition for citizens supporting a road project bond.  We also criticized the plans for not accounting for water line replacements and drainage considerations.  The Council modified the proposals while at the same time emphasizing we needed to pass the bond to have a chance at a 3.8 million dollar Federal Grant.  After almost a year of discussing this grant at Council meetings with updated “grant progress” reports it turns out it was for only $50,000.  No one ever confirmed the program details during this time yet the Council went to the voters with a bond package promoted on this non existent 3.8 million dollar grant.  Now we have $3 million in approved bond money to do a 7 million dollar project and no additional funds or grants.  As Mayor I will help guarantee the new project that must evolve efficiently utilizes our citizens’ bond money.  I am initially proposing we only resurface Phillips Ranch Road and do major upgrades to Valley View and Prairie Creek for shorter distances.  I am proposing we aggressively seek matching funding from State and Federal programs.
  2. Side Streets – The current City Administration and City Council have no plans to improve the side streets.  “There is no money” is the standard answer every time citizens inquire on the subject.  Over the last year the City and the Council absolutely refuse to discuss paving the side streets.  I will add improving the side streets to the City’s agenda.  We must begin a funding search and develop a schedule for this primary need.  Many third world countries have better roads than the East side of Granite Shoals and this is inexcusable.

· Flooding, Drainage and Sewage

  1. In conjunction with the proposed street work the Citizens’ Advisory Group which helped me organize the “Charge of the Road Brigade” demanded the City take action on flooding and drainage along with accounting for water line upgrades before implementing road improvements.  I will continue to make this a priority. 
  2. The city must eventually bear the cost of a sewer system.  In earlier proposals the Council and City failed to seek outside funding and asked the citizens to bear the entire project cost.  Yet the government generally funds this type of infrastructure project at a higher ratio of 75%.  It was a crucial error to not factor this into earlier proposals.  I plan to develop a committee to specifically look at State and Federal funding opportunities in general, and sewer system grants and matches specifically.