Sampson Independent

Turkey eyes road repairs

TURKEY — Town leaders are making plans to improve roads for local residents and visitors.

During a Tuesday meeting, Commissioner Max Pope and his colleagues discussed road conditions, which led to a unanimous vote to receive estimates for certain streets.

“We have streets that are in disrepair and we don’t have adequate funds to pave those streets,” Pope said.

With a limited budget, Pope presented a proposal to seal cracks throughout Turkey to delay more wear and tear problems. During the meeting, Pope said some of the pavement looked “awful.”

“We have to seal the cracks or they’re going to continue to worsen,” Pope said stating concerns regarding cracks becoming larger.

Mayor Donald Myers suggested that smaller cracks should receive attention as well.

“If we don’t take care of the spider cracks, that’s just going to get worse too,” Myers said.

Commissioners are putting their focus on Faison Avenue, Daniel Street, Herring Street and Moore Street. Pope said these roads were critical during his observation. Bids will be presented during a future meeting.

“Those are the worst,” Pope said. “Now, That doesn’t mean that the others don’t need it.”

For the project, Turkey is eligible to use the state’s Powell Bill Program, which is used for resurfacing streets or other maintenance repairs. According to its upcoming budget, the town has more than $10,000.

Along with roads, commissioners are continuing to keep their eyes on the railroad, which runs through the middle of town. Myers and commissioners would like to remove sidetrack materials to help fix blight issues. Other plans include straighten out rocks and removing grass around the track. It’s something the town may consider for its next budget, since it can’t be mowed over.

Another matter is a ditch and drainage problem, which is caving in about 5 to 6 feet. Before the meeting, town officials made some headway with CSX Transportation after several unsuccessful attempts. Conversations also involved the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), which may involve installing pipe underneath the road. Myers said NCDOT officials would need a representative from CSX present for the project for legal matters.

Budget moves forward

After a public hearing, town commissioners approved its budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

Starting July 1, officials plan to spend more than $251,000 to serve residents and for town operations. The largest amount of expenditures is coming from the water fund, which is $67,445. Some of the needs include system maintenance and department supplies.

Other funding is coming from the general fund and Powell Bill assistance. Together it totals $184,435. Some of the listed needs include trash pickup, maintenance, salaries, road repairs and professional expenses.

Mayor Donald Myers, left, speaks with Turkey commissioners and residents about town improvements. Donald Myers, left, speaks with Turkey commissioners and residents about town improvements.

By Chase Jordan

Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.