Rick Tanner, Superintendent of Streets, is the most popular man in town this time of year, when flowers bloom, birds fly, and streets beckon for a new coat of asphalt.

Tanner is the man who makes the decisions about where to put the asphalt.

If you want to reach him, call early, as he gets to work around 6 a.m.

This week city crews put a new three-inch thick coating of asphalt on North Cherokee from Highway 10 north to the city limit boundary.

Next up is 63rd Street off Highway 59 North.

After that, the city hopes to re-do State Park Road, which would include a three-lane portion from Broadway to Main.

Asphalt overlay costs about $104,000 a mile so the city's limited budget of $250,000 goes quickly.

Pothole repairs are another subject. These are fixed as crews have the time to do it, Tanner says. The holes that are so deep that dirt can be seen require a complete cut out, with new gravel put in, then sealed with new asphalt and rolled.

"Alligator Streets" are those with the rivulets running from several feet to several hundred feet and must be attacked with overlays, unless they are too deep, then a complete re-build is necessary. Rainwater gets into the clay beneath the street and it swells and causes the "alligators."

The city has a two-three year plan and a five-year plan for street improvements.

The busiest streets, according to Tanner, are Har-Ber Road, Leisure Lane, Baycrest and Broadway. Har-Ber will require a major overhaul, as will 13th street, and those are in the five year plan.