The Arkansas City Public Works Department sought the direction of city commissioners during their regular meeting Tuesday night regarding street repairs.

Each year, the department budgets approximately $170,000 to $175,000 for chip sealing repairs on residential streets.

These repairs are surface repairs that do not require road closures. Chip sealing is used to repair cracks and potholes in streets.

The streets that are scheduled to be taken care of with this year’s budget were last repaired in 2007, according to Public Works Director Eric Broce.

To complete the chip seal repairs, the city would have to rent several pieces of equipment and order supplies no later than this week.

However, if this year’s funds were put toward a mill and overlay project on West Radio Lane, the city could use $130,000 from approximately $500,000 that the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) has set aside for street projects.

The city only would receive 90 cents per dollar if it were to use the federal exchange funds from KDOT.

The North Summit Street project currently is out for bid. It will include the mill and overlay of Summit Street from Walnut to Kansas avenues.

Once the bids are returned, Broce said he will be able to calculate how much money will be left in street sales tax funds.

His department also is pursuing grants to supplement available funds for various street improvement projects, including North 15th Street from Radio Lane to the north city limits.

Broce said his department is attempting to do as much as possible with limited funds, but there is a lot of work left to do.

“What you’re talking about isn’t just an Ark City issue — it’s a national one,” said Commissioner Charles Tweedy.

Broce agreed, but said the funds are difficult to come by.

“There is no dedicated fund (source) for streets,” said City Manager Nick Hernandez.

Tweedy, Commissioner Jay Warren and Mayor Duane Oestmann all agreed the Radio Lane project should be the priority this year, with any chip sealing being delayed until 2017.

Commissioner Dan Jurkovich was absent from the meeting.

In other business, the commission:

  • unanimously approved the agenda and consent agenda.
  • voted unanimously to designate The Cowley CourierTraveler as the official city newspaper.
  • unanimously tabled a recommendation from the Arkansas City Planning Commission to modify the Zoning Regulations to combine the Board of Zoning Appeals and the Planning Commission, and amending Municipal Code accordingly.