Smithfield Wants County Tax Dollars To Pay For City-Owned Street Repaving

Smithfield Town Manager Michael Scott asks Johnston County Commissioners to pay for the repaving of a city-owned street, Venture Drive, even though the Town has funds budgeted for the resurfacing project this year. Photo

The Town of Smithfield wants Johnston County taxpayers to foot the bill for repaving a city street.

Monday night, Smithfield Town Manager Michael Scott appeared before Johnston County Commissioners asking for county funds to pay for the resurfacing of Venture Drive.

“If you happen to drive over it, when you get done your car needs realigning,” Scott told commissioners.

Venture Drive is a town-maintained street that connects North Brightleaf Boulevard with Outlet Center Drive. The road has fallen in disrepair in recent years.

“It is a main corridor for businesses here in Smithfield. I believe that is a driving force for me being in front of you here tonight,” Scott said. “A lot of sales tax revenue comes in from all these businesses that you see in this area and Venture Drive needs to be reconstructed.”

“We’ve gone out for bid on Venture Drive. Our low bid is $603,600 to reconstruct the road here. We’re asking the Board of Commissioners to assist us with the reconstruction price of Venture Drive.”

Commissioner Allen Mims replied, ” I thought I saw some email where you had budgeted $700,000.”

“We do have $700,000 budgeted,” Scott said. “I’m not here because it’s over budget, I’m here because the town council thinks because this is a thoroughfare, because it creates a considerable amount of revenue for the county as well as for the city that the county should assist in bearing the burden of the cost.”

Chairman Jeff Carver replied, “I think we’ll take that under advisement.”  Carver then directed County Manager Rick Hester to do research on the project.

The town opened bids for the repaving work in January but they came in over budget – ranging from $735,022 to $1,249,000 but never asked for county assistance at that time.

The town soliciting new bids in February using a Full Depth Reclamation (FDR) method which allows some of the old pavement that is ground up to be reused in the new pavement.  That resulted in the low bid of $603,600, which is under budget.