By LAURA PATTERSON
Of The Record Staff
Drainage and road conditions at the Erwin Cemetery were among items discussed Thursday when the Erwin Board of Commissioners met.
Erwin Mayor Patsy Carson called the meeting to order and Commissioner Alvester McKoy led the invocation followed by the Pledge of Allegiance led by Commissioner Ricky Blackmon. Board members present also included Commissioners Randy Baker, Thurman Whitman and Billy Turnage. Absent was Commissioner Frankie Ballard.
During the March town board meeting, commissioners discussed issues at the Erwin Cemetery. It was requested that Town Manager Snow Bowden provide an evaluation of the drainage and street pavement conditions for the cemetery, which is operated by the Erwin Lions Club. Within the cemetery, A, B and Cemetery streets are considered the town’s responsibility in regards to maintenance.
At Thursday’s meeting, town engineer Bill Dreitzler gave an update on the Erwin Cemetery issues. He said that there were three different drainage problems which they addressed.
He said experiencing drainage issues were: The southwest corner of the site along a private path; the northwest side of the site along the private path; and the existing culvert location under B Street at the 90-degree bend.
Mr. Dreitzler said he saw a significant amount of standing water covering the path. He said a portion of the cemetery adjacent to the path may be compromised with regards to future gravesites due to the flooding conditions. At the culvert, he said, based on his discussion with cemetery staff, the existing pipe is damaged and/or blocked.
Mr. Dreitzler recommended in the southwest corner to reshape the shoulder section so that it drains away from the private path and into the existing swale; at the northwest site to regrade the existing shoulder to allow drainage from the path to continue flowing to the west; and at the B Street culvert to attempt to jet clean the existing storm pipe in an effort to re-establish flow. Mr. Dreitzler was asked by the board if these issues could be handled by the town’s public works department, which he said they could.
As far as the paving conditions, Mr. Dreitzler said he was surprised by the conditions of the three roads.
“Going back to the 2013 condition report, they categorized all three of these streets as being as fair condition,” Mr. Dreitzler said. “Based on my evaluation, I would categorize them as poor to very poor at this point of time, so there has been some significant deterioration in those streets since that report was done in 2013.”
“Block cracking was prevalent throughout all three streets,” Mr. Dreitzler reported. “I’d say 90 percent of the streets had block cracking issues. There was some alligator cracking, it wasn’t prevalent, maybe 5 or 10 percent of the streets, but it was there and it was coming apart.”
Edge failure also was found along with potholes.
Mr. Dreitzler noted that although the town has a long list of streets in poor condition, these three streets in the Erwin Cemetery should be included on that list strongly in need of repaving.
Mr. Dreitzler recommended all three of the cemetery streets be considered a high priority when identifying streets to be considered for resurfacing during the 2018-2019 budget cycle. Based on resurface cost in Erwin over the last few years, he estimated the cost to resurface all three streets as a little under $80,000.
Commissioner Whitman asked Mr. Dreitzler if he has looked into having some of the potholes done now. Mr. Dreitzler said he has asked David Johnson with Johnson Paving Company to give him an estimate on fixing some of the potholes and he would provide information at the next board meeting.
Mr. Dreitzler said one option to consider to maximize the number of available gravesites in the area of the culvert would be to re-route the existing storm pipe. He said although this would not be the town’s responsibility, he included an estimate of a little over $13,000 to relocate the pipe for the interest of the Erwin Lions Club in case they would be interested in doing this to expand the cemetery.
In other business, information regarding a study conducted by NCGrowth and CPNI (Construction Professionals Network Institute Inc.) was given by Jim Schenck of Raleigh, an attorney with Conner Gwyn Schenck PLLC, a practice that focuses on state and local government construction projects, along with Carolyn Fryberger, economic development manager with NCGrowth, and Martine Aurelien, an analyst with NCGrowth.
- Billy Glover with Glovers Sales Inc. at 406 E. Jackson Blvd. spoke during the public comments portion of the meeting asking for the board to expedite installing two street lights near his business. He said he and his business have both been victimized by crime and he felt adding street lights would help with this problem. He said the poles were already there, but asked the town to install lights.
- Commissioner Whitman asked about adding additional parking at the Al Woodall Municipal Park since the gazebo has been torn down.
- Town Manager Bowden reminded members of the board that the Erwin Chamber of Commerce will host a Prayer Walk in honor of the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, May 3, from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Al Woodall Municipal Park in Erwin.
- Members of the board went into closed session to discuss a personnel issue.