The Edwards Agency

Opinion

Taxpayers were losers

taxpayers were losers The taxpayers of this city were the losers after the outcry of the residents of Kingswood over their poor quality chip seal job. These complaints prodded the City of Woodinville to have the entire area paved over at taxpayer expense.
   The city's intention was a good one. A chip seal is a very good solution when compared to the cost of an asphalt overlay. Every county in our state uses it as their primary tool for road maintenance. The liquid asphalt (not tar) in a chip seal not only seals against the elements, but rejuvenates the surface.
   The gravel embedded in the asphalt produces an excellent non-skid wearing surface. Within a year or so, it is difficult to tell the difference between a paved road and a chip sealed road.
   A mistake was made by the city when they chose to allow the city crew from Mountlake Terrace to do the work, instead of allowing private contractors to do the work as a "bid" job. A private contractor has to warranty the work for one year, so he/she certainly would have done a good quality job.
   Some of the improvements a private contractor would have seen to would be a more uniform application of materials and better brooming afterward. The entire area should have been swept after chip sealing to get all of the loose rock off the street within 24 hours; then it needed to be swept three or four times more every other week because a fresh chip seal will "shed" rock for a short time.
   The local residents should have been notified in advance to educate them to use caution during this entire process. On this particular job, there was a second coat of liquid asphalt applied on top of the gravel (fog seal) that should never have been used in a residential neighborhood.
   However, apparently the taxpayers of this city are saying they would rather spend our money to pave the streets so in their perception the kids can have a good place to skate and bicycle (Since when are streets a good place to play? Maybe putting any extra money into a park would be in order.).
   The taxpayers should realize then that they are doing this for the kids and it is not necessary for car traffic. It is an unneeded expense; with today's economic realities we should be prioritizing our expenditures.

Tom and Nancy Doolittle, Woodinville