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A 'March' against potholes planned

By DARREL RADFORD - dradford@thecouriertimes.com

Move over March Madness. Make room for New Castle’s Pothole Brigade.

Mayor Greg York detailed plans Monday night to combat the annual mess left behind by Indiana’s fickle freezing then thawing weather patterns. The battle plan involves not only city workers but civic-minded businesses willing to donate time and equipment.

“We’re getting every department in the city that can put a truck together to fill potholes, we’re taking one week and we’re going to concentrate on that,” York said. “I went to four or five privately-owned companies who will donate a half a day or a day of their equipment or personnel to help us during the first week of March. It will be our material, but they’re going to donate some time to get potholes fixed as quick as we can.”

York said the plan will hopefully be implemented beginning Monday, March 4.

Councilman Aaron Dicken asked about putting an online form on the city website to identify where the worst potholes in the city are located. 

“Would that help at all, not having to answer all of these calls?” Dicken asked Street Commissioner Lee Walker. 

“I can make it real easy for you,” Walker said. “There’s a pothole on every street in New Castle. So every street in New Castle needs to be patched. Up until then, I will do my best to have two or three crews out every day the weather is fit to patch potholes. I appreciate your suggestion, but in reality, there’s a pothole on every street.”

York said the weather has been potent for pothole creations.

“With the temperature like it is, what happens, the water and snow gets down in the cracks, then it freezes overnight and it expands,” York said. “That’s what causes this. There’s not a community in the state of Indiana right now that’s not fighting this exact same thing. Until that first week in March when we can have an organized combined week on it, we’ll fight it the best we can.”

The city’s finance committee is still looking at whether or not funds are available to purchase a Dura-patcher to help. Also, York said a Community Crossroads grant application has been completed, thanks to dedicated, laborious efforts of five or six employees.

Between the potholes, water main breaks and Castle Theatre flooding issues, York said it was a long week to say the least.

“This last week was the longest month I’ve ever had,” York said. “It feels like there were 100 days in January this year.”