New Salem – The town of New Salem may have under a thousand residents, but those people should expect to be impacted by a major Infrastructure project. That project got underway last week and it expected to last for the last couple of years.
“With progress comes sacrifice, and we all have to sacrifice…we’re gonna have to be able to be inconvenienced a little bit” Saif New Salem Mayor Lynette Fitterer
That’s the main message Fitterer wants her residents to understand as the city begins a multi-year Infrastructure project.
The project is split into several phases — one expands the towns water lines from 4 to 6 inches — to help with the water demand.
Several streets are being resurfaced to go along with the water line replacement.
“We’re getting a jump start on this, you know, compared to a lot of other smaller communities who haven’t done anything with their projects for a long time, we fell that we’ve really got a jump on this, and this phase that we’re looking at behind us, this is just the first phase.” Said Fitterer
Money for the project came from USDA loans and federal grants. Voters also approved a one-percent sales tax increase that went into effect on the first of the year. She tells me the last thing they wanted to do was raise property taxes…
“In Lieu of assessing property taxes, was to add a 20-dollar adder to the water bill, and so over the course of a year, people will see that their shelling out an extra $240 which will go directly to this project.” Said Fitterer
People KX News spoke with say while they’re not especially happy with the work, but understand the need…
“It’s a mess and it’s dirty, but when it gets all done, it’s going to be good.” Said Resident Marcy Donner
“A lot of streets are getting in bad shape, but that’s been how many years since they did those, so that’s fine with me. Said Resident Marvin Klusmann
But Fitterer tells KX News, they’re just trying to stay ahead of the curve
“If you drive on the streets, that’s a real indication of what your city is doing, if your streets look terrible and they look broken and everything, it’s not very appealing to people who want to come here.” Said Fitterer
She says bids came in cheaper than expected as well — leading to more phases and more projects for the town of New Salem.
The mayor says they hope to have phase one of the works done by mid-August, when planning for phase two can begin.