Letter to the Editor: 11/13/2017

“E STREET RECONSTRUCTION – WILLIAMS”

The above title introduces one of the most needed public roads projects in Colusa County; E STREET RECONSTRUCTION – WILLIAMS. I am preemptively announcing this project to inform the public and to make an unveiled suggestion to the Colusa County Transportation Commission, the agency responsible for road reconstruction.

For years the Williams City Council has made requests of the Transportation Commission to undertake road reconstruction in Williams and recently the Council has expressed it’s consternation with the long absence of any Commission reconstruction projects. I have written several times over the past couple of years addressing the Commission’s apparent inattention to some of the worse conditioned, most heavily used, and deteriorating roads in the Commission’s jurisdiction; those in Williams.

You may have noted the recent road repairs completed throughout the City including in front of the Fire Station, the McDonalds pothole, Sixth Street. The City of Williams is committed to fixing our streets and these recent, small street repairs (not reconstruction) are within the City’s fiscal capacity.

On the other hand, the large reconstruction projects needed for Husted Road, E Street, and Seventh Street each cost millions of dollars, take years to program, months to reconstruct, and are beyond the City’s fiscal capacity.

That’s where the Transportation Commission comes in.

Large scale road reconstruction projects with multi-million dollar price tags are the responsibility of the Transportation Commission and are the reason the State created local transportation commissions.

State law (Transportation Development Act of 1971, Government Code section 29535) established this Commission and gave it the responsibility for planning and funding major reconstruction for all roads in Colusa County – county and cities.

The E Street Reconstruction project is a natural candidate for the Transportation Commission.

All of this has brought the City Council to its current discussions about our streets and our membership in Transportation Commission. If Williams cannot get its roads reconstructed as a member of the Transportation Commission, what if the City were not a member and became its own Commission? In its aspiration to get these roads fixed, the Council has formed a Subcommittee to look into these questions.

This Subcommittee’s task is not necessarily to investigate forming our own commission, but to explore the regulations, laws, and funding needed to get our roads fixed. Already produced from the Subcommittee’s work has been: raising attention to our poor roads, propounding that our local County Supervisor be appointed to the Transportation Commission, revealing unmet transportation needs, informing our local state legislative representatives – Senator Nielsen and Assemblywoman Aguiar-Curry – of these critical local concerns, and educating the public.

It is unfortunate that the City has to consider leaving the County Transportation Commission. There are about nineteen transportation commissions throughout California administering multi-million dollar road reconstruction projects, as has the Colusa County Transportation Commission. Witness the Transportation Commission’s recent work on such large scale projects as Marguerite Street, Maxwell sidewalks, and Arbuckle road paving.
The City would prefer to work with the Transportation Commission to accomplish our needed road reconstruction projects.

The question remains; why is the Transportation Commission reluctant to undertake a project in Williams?

Hopefully, the Colusa County Transportation Commission will set aside their reluctance and move ahead, soon, and start the project titled… and you heard it here first… E STREET RECONSTRUCTION – WILLIAMS.

CHUCK BERGSON
Councilmember, City of Williams

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