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City's pothole czar hints we may be in for a bumpy spring

'We're not going to be able to do some of the work that we intended to do." - Larry Girardi
pothole  turl 2016
File photo by Jeff Turl/BayToday

This year's unusual winter weather, combined with cutbacks to the city's roads budget, could mean a rough ride for local motorists this spring.

Larry Girardi, the city's deputy chief administrative officer for public works, was hinting strongly at Monday night's City Council meeting that $820,000 cut during recent budget deliberations is likely to result in pothole damage this spring.

"We're seeing some of the roads exposed right now," Girardi said.

"We're seeing some of the damage that's done from the winter conditions. And this year, unfortunately we're seeing more severe winter and then spring-like conditions in January."

"It's kind an unknown, but that's the kind of stuff that does do a lot of road damage. How's it going to affect us? Well, certainly we're not going to be able to do some of the work that we intended to do."

Girardi was speaking during debate about a proposal from Ward 3 Councillor Matthew Shoemaker and his Ward 5 counterpart Frank Fata to have all city departments prepare 2018 preliminary budgets with targeted decreases of one per cent over this year.

"The one per cent cut is fine, but we're already behind the eight ball a million dollars for public works," Girardi said.

"And I also remind council that I'm still $300,000 down on my equipment from the year before."

Councillors voted against the one percent reduction.