Council funds road repair and repaving plan

Published 11:12 am Tuesday, July 17, 2012

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Several Alabaster neighborhood roads will be repaved within the next few months after the Alabaster City Council approved a more than $300,000 resurfacing project during its July 16 meeting.

During the meeting, the council voted to award the $308,793 bid to the Pelham-based Wiregrass Construction company.

Through the “show cause remediation” portion of the project, the city will repair dilapidated streets in the Golden Meadows neighborhood, The Grove neighborhood and in sectors 6, 8 and 15 of the Grandview neighborhood.

In the early and mid-2000s, Alabaster, like many area cities, saw a high level of new residential development. Before the economic downturn began in 2007, Alabaster approved several hundred new home permits per year.

When the developers began building their neighborhoods, they obtained permits from the city and pledged a certain amount of bond money to ensure the neighborhood’s streets would be brought up to city standards after the subdivision was a certain percent complete.

However, some developers went bankrupt or abandoned their developments before bringing their roads up to the city’s standards.

When a developer abandons a neighborhood without bringing the roads up to standard, the city must hold a “show cause” hearing to declare a road unsatisfactory and demand the bond money from the developer.

If the developer refuses to surrender the bond money, the city usually is forced to sue them to secure the bond.

Because the legal process can take years, Alabaster Mayor David Frings said he wanted the city to take steps to repair the roads while it waits for all of the bond money to arrive.

“It’s regrettable that so many developers left the City and its residents with the financial responsibility to finish streets,” Frings said. “The city will receive bond money reimbursement for some of The Grove, Grandview and Golden Meadows to handle the remediation and seal coats necessary to finalize those streets.”

The project also will include resurfacing streets not included in show cause neighborhoods, such as Mangrove Drive, Bluegrass Lane, Pebble Lane, Industrial Park Lane and Arrow Drive.