The town of Monterey wants to work with T-DOT to address drainage issues along Commercial Avenue.
Mayor JJ Reels said a sink hole that has opened in front of Monterey High School is a major concern.
“There is a hole that is getting bigger five feet off the road, and it’s probably 10 feet deep, and it is getting wider,” Reels said. “You can see where the water rushes under 62 and that is the other concern, because Highway 62 is a state highway.”
Drainage issues have also appeared at Whitaker Park. Reels said a washed out ditch is undermining a sidewalk that leads to the school. Reels said the situation could develop into a safety issue with many students traveling that area.
“It is starting to threaten the integrity of the sidewalks and that is a concern to me,” Reels said. “That is a heavily used sidewalk everyday between kids and people walking. So, I want to make sure that is safe, because if that washes away, it could break, and people could fall in an open ditch.”
Reels said even though the roadway is state-owned, T-DOT has indicated that Monterey would be responsible for repairs. Reels said he does not agree with the feedback and believes that the state caused the issue with a paving project some years ago.
“I had the district manager and district engineer up here the other day, and they basically looked in the hole and said it is the city’s fault,” Reels said. “And then on the other side where the sidewalks are washing way. Both of these problems were caused by the state, so why should the city of Monterey pay for the mistakes that the state made years ago.”
Reels said after that interaction, he started corresponding with the state director’s staff to resolve the issue. Reels said the situation will be addressed as soon as possible once T-DOT responds.
In other business Monday night, Reels announced Will Mullens as the new city attorney for Monterey. Reels said attorney Brett Knight stepped down from the position due to a large workload for other cases.
Two rezonings in the city limits were also approved by the Board of Aldermen Monday. A parcel on North Elm Street and another on East Cleveland Avenue were changed to commercial from residential.