This winter was costly for the city, which will have a cleanup this summer.
By NORMAN LEIGH
VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU
SALEM -- City council agreed to borrow up to $2.6 million to pay for new fire equipment and two street improvement projects.
Council voted Tuesday to borrow the money by issuing bonds.
The largest debt the city is taking on is up to $1.7 million for a project intended to help alleviate traffic congestion in the East State Street commercial district.
Plans call for widening and extending East Third Street eastward to Roosevelt Avenue.
Also included in the undertaking is extending Bentley Drive from Roosevelt Avenue east to Continental Drive.
The project will ease traffic on East State Street by giving motorists an alternate route in the area.
Work on the project is expected to start next month and finish in about six months, Service Director Joe Julian said.
Council agreed to borrow up to $500,000 for a job aimed at improving a section of Cunningham Road on the east side.
Plans call for widening from about 16 feet to 29 feet a nearly 1,300-foot section of Cunningham Road, south from Butcher Road to the city limits. Curbs and gutters will also be installed.
Work is expected to start about midsummer and be finished in the fall, Julian said.
Council also authorized borrowing up to $400,000 for two new firetrucks.
One of the trucks would be a pumper, which would replace an aging vehicle. The other vehicle would be a four-wheel-drive truck equipped to combat grass fires.
Terms of the loans call for the city to pay 6 percent interest. The length of the loans range from 10 years to 20 years.
City residents will be able to rid their homes of junk as part of a citywide cleanup approved by council.
The panel agreed to authorize Julian to advertise for bids and enter into a contract with a private firm to pick up junk hauled to curbs during the cleanup. Julian estimated it will cost the city about $18,000.
It's been two years since the city had a cleanup, and some residents and council members have complained about the accumulation of junk at city residences.
The city will pay for the cleanup, expected to occur early this summer, using council contingency funds.
This winter was expensive for the city.
Julian told council that $122,030 was spent to shovel snow and salt roads. The winter of 2001-02, which was much milder, cost $56,350, Julian said.