WHITE OAK — At least 25 streets in White Oak need repairs, city leaders say, but repairing and overlaying them all could cost as much as $6.413 million, not including possible bond and interest costs.
Consultants presented the findings to White Oak City Council members — who must decide if and how to pay for the repairs — during the council’s June meeting Tuesday at City Hall.
The most expensive project would be Old Highway 80, which would cost $2.2 million for significant improvements to the 3-mile stretch from U.S. 80 to South Whatley Road.
“There’s a lot of holes on Old 80,” Place 3 City Councilman Thomas Cash said. “Well, I know that Old 80 is not very good.”
Meanwhile, reclamation and overlay on nine other streets — West Whatley Road, Little John Drive, Nottingham Street, East Cottonwood Drive, Cottonwood Trail, North Thomas Road, South Orchid Drive, Leona Street and North Doma Street — would range in costs from $213,000 to $350,000, consultants with SPI Engineering of Tyler said.
The question before City Council members will be how to pay for the improvements, whether they decide to reclaim and overlay the streets, which would add at least 10 years’ life to each road surface, or if they want to apply less expensive seal coating that would add about three to five years’ life, consultants and City Coordinator Charlie Smith said.
The city could issue certificate of obligation bonds or call an election to issue general obligation bonds. Depending on how much the city borrows, the time length for the debt and possible interest rates, a successful bond could increase yearly property taxes for the owners of an average-priced White Oak home by more than $200, consultants with Specialized Public Finance Inc. of Dallas said.
Any bond election would have to be called at least 70 days before the designated election date, consultants said.
If the council desires, Smith said the city could give Public Works Director Tracey Fears a $200,000 budget, then enter an agreement with Gregg County in which the city would pay for materials and then county crews would make shorter-term repairs to as many White Oak streets as the money allows.
Smith said the council will likely make a decision by August.
“If we end up doing the bond election,” Smith said, “that’s going to put us in the 70-day time frame to put in on the ballot.”
Other streets on the city’s list for repairs include Archer Drive, East Magnolia Street, South Walnut Street, Park Way, Quail Drive, Mockingbird Street, Swann Street, Chapparel Street, Daisy Street, East Gladiola Street, East Tulip Street, Leona Circle, Ridgecrest Street, Woodhaven Street and Millridge Court.
In other business, Smith received a three-year contract extension starting Jan. 1 at about a $109,000 yearly salary.
Also, the council is poring through about 10 applications to be the city’s next fire chief, Smith said. No timetable on hiring a chief has been set.
The city also opted to move forward on a one-year economic development agreement to Black Angel Lures.
A formal contract hasn’t yet been drawn up, but the company would receive a $5,000 grant from White Oak Economic Development Corp. to buy equipment to process its fishing lure products in White Oak, Smith said.
Council members learned that a medical practice is opening in the city.
Family nurse practitioner Kelly Johnson is opening White Oak Family Medicine clinic at 103 S. White Oak Road in the former Premiere Management building, she said during the citizen comment portion of the meeting.
For information, Johnson can be emailed at email@example.com .
Also, resident Ronnie Shields said he was trying to open a recreational site where senior White Oak residents can come together for activities such as domino games.