CATEGORY: Tupelo Stories

AUTHOR: MOULDE

HED: Streets task force doubles meetings

By Philip Moulden

Daily Journal

Tupelo's streets and traffic task force decided to step up its work pace Thursday by doubling its number of meetings.

The group also moved to arrange meetings with a city Water and Light Department official, Lee County officials, and representatives of paving, engineering and consulting firms that deal with street and traffic issues.

The Smoother Streets, Traffic and Roads Task Force was formed by the city council in August with a goal of improving secondary and neighborhood streets and traffic flow throughout the city.

Its job does not overlap that of the Major Thoroughfare Oversight Committee, which focuses on the city's arterial roads.

The task force, which originally set its sessions for the second Monday of each month, decided at a special meeting Thursday to conduct further meetings on the first and third Mondays of each month.

It also moved meeting times to 5 p.m.

"That would speed up the process by meeting twice a month instead of once a month," task force Chairman Jim High said.

High said he will ask a Water and Light Department spokesman to attend next Monday's meeting.

Among other things, task force members want to know how the water department, which accounts for many of the cuts made into streets, interacts with the Public Service Department, which repairs the cuts.

High said he also hopes to arrange for a session with county officials to determine how the county decides when to accept a road for public maintenance and if the county plans to adopt street standards for new subdivisions.

Task force members contend the county and city must work together, particularly in coordinating plans for major roads that run through both jurisdictions.

They also want to invite input from asphalt professionals, engineers, and other experts to help them learn more about what is needed to adequately maintain streets.

"I think it would be good to hear from some of these people where that's their job," High said.

High said the task force may break up into smaller groups to address differing problems, but that would come in a later stage of its activities.

"I think we're in information gathering sessions, and until we get our feet on the ground we all ought to be getting this input at once," he told fellow members. "We'll get on our twice-a-month schedule and see if we can't get moving."

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