By LOUIE DIAZ
During a regular commission meeting on March 16, the San Benito City Commission passed a motion to begin a $1 million street improvement project.
The project will include improvements to a list of 12 streets. However, it is dependent on the cost of repair for each street. The $1 million was budgeted during the 2020-2021 fiscal year and was meant for residential streets not commercial streets. Mayor Ricardo Guerra and Public Works Director, Adan Gonzalez, compiled the list after traveling around the city in search for streets that most in need.
San Benito City Manager Manuel De La Rosa explained that in the past, street maintenance has come into conflict with many of the roadways because of storm sewers and utilities.
De La Rosa also noted that bad weather conditions hinder the work that street maintenance workers can do.
“You can only do roadways when it’s dry—it cannot be went, it cannot be cold,” De La Rosa said. “Asphalt can only be applied under certain weather conditions… so we lose many, many months out of the year.”
Guerra asked if the street improvements will be done in-house. Commissioner Rene Villafranco suggested to have some streets improved in-house and others outsourced, if possible, in order to expedite the process.
Commissioner Rene Garcia brought up concerns about the funds, asserting that the city would need more than $1 million to fix the streets.
De La Rosa explained that under the Biden Administration, federal public infrastructure funds will be available.
Commissioner Villafranco made a motion to pass that the city begin improvements in the order they appear on the document and the motion was seconded by Commissioner Garcia. The motion passed unanimously.
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