That’s how long residents who live along Wendell’s dirt streets will have to wait before they find out if the town will be willing to institute a road-paving program to put asphalt along the streets where they live.
In a remarkable turn of events Monday night, commissioners decided to wait until next February to decide how to respond to requests from residents who live along some of the town’s 11 unpaved streets, asking that the town pave their streets.
The issue is not a simple one, to be sure. There’s more cost involved than the town can support in a single year. Under that limitation, someone’s street would be paved before someone else’s street.
In explaining why he wanted to wait until next February, town commissioner Ira Fuller said he thought it would be a good decision for the next board of commissioners to consider. Elections take place this November. The new board will take its seat in December. This is March.
Commissioners have lost eight months between now and next fall’s elections before they act on this request.
Residents who live on the streets in question have essentially been told to hang on the line.
Wendell’s board of commissioners has alway acted at a glacial pace. Everything seems to take longer in Wendell than in other towns. To some degree, that may not be a bad thing. We hope that commissioners will have thought thoroughly through every issue before they act. But this pace isn’t just glacial. It’s practically another Ice Age.
The town has a policy for paving unpaved streets. That policy calls for the town and the property owners along that street to share in the cost of paving. The town has development ordinances and guidelines that oversee how roads and streets should be paved.
The only question here, really, should be how the town spreads its own cost out over a period time.
Seems like we’ll have to wait a lot longer now to get the answer to that question.