Highmarket Street stormwater

Work on a stormwater project crossing Highmarket Street near Piggly Wiggly was delayed due heavy rains in the summer and Hurricane Florence in September.

UPDATE: During today's City Council workshop, interim City Administrator Carey Smith read a statement from Mayor Brendon Barber that said the mayor had an allergic reaction to medication. The mayor was hospitalized but is now recovering.

The statement did not say when the mayor expects to return to his duties with the city. 

ORIGINAL STORY:

The city of Georgetown is settling back into a normal routine following a month filled with storm and flood preparations, but an important figure is currently missing from the scene.

City Council held a regular meeting Oct. 18 without Mayor Brendon Barber in attendance. Interim City Administrator Carey Smith said Barber's absence was due to a medical issue, but further details have not been provided. 

On Wednesday, Smith said Barber was expected to miss a council workshop scheduled for today. It's unclear how long the first-term mayor will be away from his official duties. The Georgetown Times has been unable to reach Barber.

Mayor Pro Tem Rudolph Bradley is handling the mayor's duties, including leading council meetings, while Barber is away. Smith said the city is proceeding ahead as normal.

During the Oct. 18 meeting, Smith said "several well qualified"candidates for the city planner position have been interviewed. Bringing the position back to the city's staff is one of Barber's priorities. 

brendon barber

Barber

After multiple weather-related delays in September and early October, City Council in the coming days plans to meet with the consultant assisting in the search for a city administrator. On Wednesday, Smith said the meeting should take place within the next 10 days. 

City Engineer Orlando Arteaga told council the time frame for the West End stormwater project has been extended through the end of year  -- initially, it was scheduled to be complete by early November. The work, currently taking place on Highmarket Street in front of Piggly Wiggly, was delayed due to heavy rains in July and August as well as Hurricane Florence in September. The project extends down Lynch Street to Duke Street behind Piggly Wiggly.

Arteaga said heavy rains in July caused 18 feet of asphalt to cave in near the construction site on Highmarket Street. The area of road affected extended beyond the contractor's designated work zone, causing further work delays as the city and contractor, Green Wave Contracting, negotiated an agreement on the additional work to restore the road -- the parties agreed to split the cost.

Overall, additional costs for the stormwater project total $100,000, which includes repairing 8 feet of old sewer line on Lynch Street. Arteaga said contingency funds were included in the city's initial $2 million budget for the project.

Smith told council the state Department of Transportation has approved an emergency traffic signal for the new Maryville Fire Station along South Fraser Street. When responding to a call, city firefighters will be able to activate the light to alert on coming traffic of emergency vehicles leaving the station.

Smith said the light will flash yellow until its activated. At that point, it will turn to steady yellow before turning red. Fire Chief Charlie Cribb had requested the city look into having a signal installed near the station.