Carmel to put $11.4 million into roads this year

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Carmel will spend $4 million to repave roads this year, the city council announced Monday night, with much of the funds coming from a reimbursement due to the city after a state accounting error.

The city also plans to use $7.4 million in unencumbered funds from a 2006 road bond to accelerate improvements to Illinois Street.

The first priority for paving will go to roads in West Clay, the council said, as part of the city’s contractual obligations to the area from the 2010 annexation agreement. A complete list of the roads scheduled for repaving is available online through the city’s Web site, www.carmel.in.gov, although city councilors were quick to note that the list is not a definitive guarantee that the allocated funds will be enough to repave all roads indicated.

The decision ends uncertainty as to how the city would pay to repave streets in West Clay. Carmel hasn’t undertaken any non-emergency road paving projects in two years.

According to Council President Rick Sharp, Mayor Jim Brainard wanted to use funds from the road bond – now allocated toward the Illinois Street project – for repaving.

“It was a philosophical problem for some of us,” Sharp said. “We didn’t believe in doing maintenance with the credit card, which is basically what bond funds are.”

Councilor Luci Snyder agreed.

“We like to say: It’d be like buying a washer and dryer when you buy your house and putting them on your mortgage,” she said. “We like to only use bond funds for capital projects.”

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