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Handing out jeers, cheers to SOS debacle
Since early July the neighborhoods on these Auburn streets – H and Fifth Street Northeast – have experienced the City's Save Our Streets (SOS) program. To those of us that make this area our home, SOS has had the maritime meaning of resident's in distress, and in need of help.
The constant dirt, dust and rumbling of heavy equipment on our streets tested our patience. The fact that a portion of the new surface on H Street had to be torn out and lowered to meet some of the neighbor's property levels just extended the length of the process. The relocation of utility poles and the plan to repair sidewalks were objected to many times. Finally, the City Council's Public Works Committee made some changes.
Jeers to Dennis Dowdy, the City's director of Public Works, for all the misinformation he provided throughout these five months, and his lack of respect when asked the simplest of questions as to what was planned.
Jeeer to Mayor Pete Lewis who quite emphatically said there was no money to replace all the sidewalks in the neighborhood versus the patch work effect that was planned, which, in some cases, would have resulted in saving sections that were two feet long.
This treatment by some high-ranking City Officials resulted in an SOS of a different kind, akin to the breakfast entrée that the military serves.
Cheers to Councilman Rich Wagner who made some sense out of the curb and sidewalk plan, and who by magic I guess, found money to replace all the sidewalks and make them safe for pedestrians.
Cheers to Rodarte Construction, which persevered through all the changes the City made on the project, and whose workers were extremely courteous and helpful.
Although some issues, like property damage, remain to be resolved with the City, I'd like to rephrase the City's jingle a bit to "Auburn, less than imagined" when it came to this street improvement project.
– Don Anderson