Fourteen streets in central and northern New London will be upgraded as part of the road paving projects approved for funding by the City Council on Monday.
Councilors voted 6-1 to approve $1.6 million for the projects. The funds will be taken from a $15 million bond issue approved in 2011, of which a $5,855,000 balance remains.
The streets to be paved and the projects' individual estimated costs are:
- Oneco Street, $290,000
- Nameaug Ave., $160,000
- Bank Street from Shaw Street to the town line, $150,000
- Deshon Street, $150,000
- Coit Street, $120,000
- Williams Street from Broad Street to Blackhall Street, $120,000
- Farnsworth Street, $110,000
- Lee Ave., $110,000
- Walden Ave., $110,000
- Crest Street, $100,000
- Walker Street, $70,000
- Buell Place, $50,000
- Nathan Hale Street, $30,000
- Saltonstall Street, $30,000
Councilor Adam Sprecace, who opposed the measure, said he would not be able to support it without knowing if the city would be facing renewed financial difficulties in the 2014 fiscal year. Finance Director Jeff Smith said there would be no principal or interest payments on the projects until the 2015 fiscal year.
“This is not going to affect next year’s budget because I’m not going to issue these bonds until probably next year,” he said.
Council President Michael Passero said there had been a focus on improving New London’s infrastructure when he first joined the Council in 2009, but that this effort has slowed in recent years. He said he did not want another construction season to pass without action on the paving appropriation.
“I would like to see us get back on track,” said Passero. “I think the Public Works director has identified some areas of the city that have been waiting patiently to have their infrastructure improved.”
Public Works Director Tim Hanser said the projects intend to address concentrated areas of the city. When Councilor Donald Macrino asked Hanser if it would be possible to slow down the pace of the projects to save on annual costs, Hanser said the city is already operating at a reduced rate. He said the city would ideally be spending about $4 million a year on road improvements.
“We still have to ramp it up a little bit,” he said.