$210K pothole machine approved by Jackson council - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

$210K pothole machine approved by Jackson council

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

With each storm, the city's battered streets get even worse.

Holes get deeper, cracks get larger, and many worry about if they'll ever be addressed.

This week, the Jackson City Council approved the purchase of a one-man pothole patcher, the LeeBoy RA 400.

Those who use it say it fills potholes in no time, less than 5 minutes.

"It's a big investment in equipment, but equipment is expensive, and so, it'll pay for itself in the long run. It'll make our lives better," Raymond resident Bob Fron said.

That piece of equipment will cost the city $210,000, according to Jackson Director of Communications Shelia Byrd.

That money will come out of the general fund, not water and sewer, Byrd added. 

She said the machine represents a more effective way of treating potholes.

"Once it rains again, the water's gonna go right back down in there, and make a bigger pothole, so why not just go ahead and fix the streets with that $200,000 instead of just doing a patch job once again?" said Jackson resident Terence Johnson.

Some feel it's a temporary fix and the equipment purchase was politically motivated.

"I think it's just something to get the pressure off of 'em, instead of doing what really needs to be done, and that's going ahead and fixing the streets like they need to be fixed," Johnson said.

But others support the measure, saying the high price tag is all relative.

"The $200,000 it would take for the machine doesn't even compare to, you know, what people are paying, automobile damages for what the potholes -- over time -- do to their car," said Jackson resident Chad Jones. "Been a problem for a while, but we'll get it together. We'll get it fixed. I believe in Jackson."

"Our infrastructure requires long-term maintenance; in other words, it requires investment, the continual investment, so if this machine will help us in the incremental investment over long term, it'll be worth it," Fron added.

We reached out to Public Works Director Kisha Powell to see how this new purchase will help them in their strategy to tackle this infrastructure issue, but she was not available for comment.

The pothole patcher should arrive sometime this fall.

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