The City of Ashland Board of Aldermen were expected to give final approval for annexation of 73 acres at the Highway 63 – Rt. H interchange at last night’s regularly scheduled Board of Aldermen meeting.

But voting to expand the City of Ashland further north might be the easiest part of that growth.

While Larry Potterfield and the Hummingbird Properties continues to move dirt, install sewer lines and other infrastructure, Ashland City Administrator Lyn Woolford is working to learn and develop a plan for the city to maintain that property and infrastructure in the future.

“We don’t even have any roads in yet, but when they are there the city will be responsible for maintaining them,” Woolford said, “that will require man power as well as budgeted money to make that happen.”

Maintenance on the road would include snow removal as well as fixing normal wear-and-tear. But Woolford said sewer maintenance – especially in a light industrial area – might be an even bigger challenge for the city.

Woolford said the sewer lift stations were being installed at a depth of 30-feet, which is more than twice the depth most pumps are installed and presents maintenance challenges.

“Ordinary pumps we can pull if we need to work on them,” Woolford said of his city maintenance crews, “but these new pumps will require a winch to pull them out – which we don’t have.”

Currently the City of Ashland has seven workers on their maintenance staff, including two for water, two for sewer maintenance and three for streets. “When it snows and we need to plow, of course, we pull everyone together to get that done as quickly as possible,” Woolford noted. But Woolford hints that the city’s maintenance staff – as well as the police staff – will have to grow as the city’s geographic boundaries expand.

~ Find out more in today’s Journal ~

By Bruce Wallace