Maintenance of Suffolk roads should remain with VDOT

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 20, 2004

Editor, the News-Herald:

Monday night at Nansemond River High School, the city put out their proposal to take over all the roads in Suffolk. Why? Because the City will get a large pot of money to manage or mismange. This would allow city officials to direct this money to their favorite projects, I suspect to the downtown area. They say they want to improve transportation, yet the staff recommended and the City Council voted against the completion of the Southeast bypass around Suffolk.

I recommend we do not take over the maintenance of all the roads in Suffolk. VDOT now provides this service free to all of old Nansemond County, and this city has the best deal we will ever get. We can never get this deal back once the decision is made to take over these roads.

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More road money from the state would solve all our road maintenance problems. The state could give VDOT more money and they could do more projects. The state could also give the city a little more money and make city officials happy. City Council and staff could then concentrate on managing this city more efficiently.

Tuesday night at Northern Shores Elementary School the city asked citizens what they liked about Suffolk and what they disliked and what they would change. There was a good turnout and, unlike the meeting I attended last year, three city councilmen, several members of the planning department and city staff were there.

Could it be they really want our opinion? Last year at the Whaleyville meeting, not one City Council member or department head showed up. The city also gave out snacks and soft drinks. We finally received a benefit for all our increased tax dollars. If this free food had been advertised, I’m sure that even more citizens would have attended.

William H. Harward