Williams maps out year of needed projects 

The Williams City Council and staff have set some lofty goals and objectives for 2019 that include street and park improvements, a new comprehensive website, a City Hall makeover, grant funding and research, replacing failed drain culverts, and updating the city design standards, among others. 

“We have a lot of goals, which (is) good,” Mayor Alfred Sellers said at the city’s Jan. 16 regular meeting.  

City Administrator Frank Kennedy said the practice of setting goals and objectives at the beginning of each year is something that helps staff keep an eye on pending projects as well as projects that are already in the works. 

“Some are long-term goals,” Kennedy said. 

Although the list is general in nature, Kennedy said mapping out goals and objectives allows the public to get an idea what the city is working on and what could get done this year. 

“There are a lot of things we are currently working on, but throughout the city there are a lot of new things as well,” Kennedy said. “Some of this will be done in conjunction with the newly formed (Capital Improvement Plan) Committee. We will be discussing, for instance, new paint and awnings for City Hall. I think City Hall is in need of some refreshing.” 

Each department put together a list of goals. 

The Finance Department is looking to transition to a new software upgrade, as well as continue cross training for staff, continue to provide excellent customer service, and improve the department’s facilities.

Public Works hopes to replace several storm drain culverts this year, including those on the east side of 7th Street, from B Street to north of the tow yard, and on the west side of 6th Street, from B to C streets, which includes 200 feet of pipe and two drain inlets.

Public Works also plans to add trees and shrubs at Valley Vista Park, replacing those that have died, as well as kill off, till, grade and replant grass. 

Kennedy said projects also include wastewater system work and street repairs.

“We like to be as aggressive as possible in improving the city, and I think that is reflective in the goals for 2019,” he said. 

Kennedy said the Finance Committee and City Council will have to approve projects prior to them starting. Some projects will be completed in house using recently purchased equipment (crack sealer and bobcat); others may require outside contractors, he added. 

In addition to a City Hall improvements, the city hopes to establish new permanent message boards to replace the portable electronic sign on E Street, evaluate staffing levels at several departments, and complete a comprehensive fee study.  

City Councilman Robert Mendoza said residents of Williams most often bring up street repairs and park improvements as priorities. 

Sellers also agreed decaying pavement and potholds needs to be a priority, and said the city’s “crocodile backs” are something motorists have a hard time traversing. 

The city plans to install ADA ramps, stop signs, and make pavement repairs as part of their ongoing Intersection Improvement Project.  

Funding is not currently available for everything on the list, officials said, although grant applications are in the works. 

“It’s a process that we have to go through,” Sellers said. ■