Frustrated neighbor starts petition against pothole-covered Palm Bay streets

Petition to be presented at City Hall

PALM BAY, Fla. – The long road to getting results is covered with hundreds of potholes for some people living in the southeast part of Palm Bay.

News 6 first spoke with a disgruntled neighbor last week when Krystle Vanderpluym-Hansen said she counted 79 potholes from the main road to her house on Weiman Road.

Sharing the same frustrations as Vanderpluym-Hansen, Paul Basham of Quentin Avenue then called News 6 stating he was starting a petition against poor road conditions to present to city leaders.

"We've been fighting to get our roads fixed or get them just to look at them," Basham told News 6 Tuesday.

He said there's 100 streets covered in potholes like his or even worse in southeast Palm Bay.

"You walk out the front door and this is the first thing you see," Basham said, pointing to poorly patched Quentin Avenue. 

Palm Bay's city manager, Gregg Lynk, emailed Vanderpluym-Hansen last week saying that the city does not have the money to fix most streets.

Basham said leaders have told him the same thing.

"I'm sick of hearing that. I don't want to hear that no more. I want a road fixed," he said.

Troy Davidson, an engineer with the city's Public Works Department, told News 6 Tuesday that many of the city's roads were built in the '60s, '70s and '80s. Davidson said most of them have not been repaved since then.

"Over the years, we just have not spent the money that was necessary to reconstruct the roads as they were failing," Davidson said. "Had the city watched after the quality of construction, when the roads were being built, then we wouldn't have been in the mess we were in, in the first place."

Davidson spoke with News 6 on Dagget Avenue where last year workers fully repaved one side of the street. 

Most streets in poor condition, however, get a temporary fix and are patched over and over.

News 6 asked Davidson if it would make more sense to do the job right one time instead of multiple short-term fixes.

"If we had the money to invest to do it right the first time, we certainly would," he answered. "I believe we're spending the money as best as we can spend it," Davidson added when asked if the city is wasting money repeatedly patching roads.

Lynk also told Vanderpluym-Hansen via email last week that the city roads will get better with time.

"That's a joke,"  Basham said, laughing. "They've been feeding us garbage all this time and we ain't got nothing yet. What I want to know is where has all this money gone we've been paying all these years."

Basham is urging neighbors to show up and support him when he takes his petition to the City Council meeting Thursday.

"If you don't keep trying, you ain't going to get nothing," Basham said when asked if other Palm City citizens have settled for the status-quo with city roads.

Basham originally planned to present his petition to the city's Road Advisory Board Monday night at City Hall.
That meeting, however, was postponed to a later date.

Basham's petition was signed by more than 50 of his neighbors in southeast Palm Bay.

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