Editor’s note: This is one in a series of articles.
Department heads and elected officials from Dunn met this past weekend in Myrtle Beach, S.C., to plan for the upcoming budget. When council members were asked what their priorities were, the first and immediate answer was paving.
Most council members have said the condition of the roads in Dunn is what they get the most complaints about.
City Manager Steve Neuschafer said there is more than $3 million in road improvements that have been identified and Dunn has about $700,000 in the budget.
“It will take several years to get it done,” he said.
Council member Chuck Turnage said the city needs to do the worst first and potholes also need to be addressed.
Mr. Neuschafer had come up with the idea to save up two years worth of road improvement money to be more attractive for contractors to bid on, because the smaller $350,000 they were not interested in. That idea didn’t work, not because it was a bad idea, but because of the timing. When Dunn tried to bid the approximately $800,000 project last year, contractors were tied up with DOT work created from Hurricane Florence. The project will be put out to bid again this year.
Those initial improvements will be on South Washington Street, Duke Street, Brunswick Street, the Ellis Avenue and Broad Street intersection, West and East Carr Street and North Wilson Avenue.
The paving projects will be done every two years until the list is satisfied. Because one wasn’t done last year because of the inability to get a contractor, in addition to this year, there will be another project next year.
Dunn Mayor Oscar Harris was disappointed in the few amount of roads that will initially get paved.
“This is pitiful,” he said.
“It costs too much,” Mr. Turnage said about the paving.
Also during the retreat, council members agreed to end trash pick up and leaf pick up from alleys.
Mr. Neuschafer said Republic Waste had approached him about it. He said the business has new equipment and it’s hard to reach the cans in the alley. Besides, the alleys were not made for heavy equipment.
Some residents in Dunn prefer to leave their garbage cans beside the alley instead of the road for pick up.
Mr. Turnage said he probably has more people in his ward who choose to do that than any other ward.
“People will understand they’ll have to do that [put their cans by the road] to get their trash picked up,” he said. “I bring it to the front yard because I got tired of them knocking my wall down.”
Council member Buddy Maness said if the cans are going to move to the front yard, why not have leaf and debris collection moved to the front yard. Some residents in Dunn also leave their leaves and yard debris by the alley for pick up. The leaf truck has been damaged on the alleys.
Council members agreed to both garbage and leaf pick up by the main road.
“It’s not an inconvenience, it’s a change,” Mr. Turnage said. “We get the citizens accustomed to bringing them to the street and then we’ll address closing the alleys.”
If a resident is unable to take their garbage can to the road they can contact public works and arrangements will be made to take out their trash.
Also, the council gave Mr. Neuschafer the go ahead to combine the planning board and the board of adjustments. He said it’s hard to get volunteers for both boards, especially the board of adjustments which meets infrequently. The last time it met was two years ago.