The Dunwoody City Council has made one thing clear: paving is a priority.

At its most recent work session, the council heard a presentation on the city’s five-year paving plan and 2011 capital paving project from Michael Smith, Dunwoody’s public works director.

Smith told the council the city will have a smaller paving budget than expected for 2011 at $2 million, down from the estimated $2.75 million.

“We think $2 million a year is a realistic number based on the city’s current finances,” Smith said.

He also suggested that the city postpone resurfacing some roads to see if money will become available through a proposed regional transportation tax.

Smith said major roads like Chamblee Dunwoody and Mount Vernon were delayed to 2012, though no paving projects for residential roads will be postponed.

“We’re waiting to see the outcome of funding for other transportation projects, intersection improvements or adding bike lanes or turn lanes. We’ll have a much clearer picture in a year for those types of projects,” Smith said. “We didn’t want to get in a situation where we go out and pave something this year and then find out in six months we’re going to be getting some funding for a bigger project on that road segment we just paved. We only want to pave it once.”

But the council agreed that bringing Dunwoody’s roads up to standard should be a priority.

“I’d like for us to look at increasing our spending for resurfacing this year,” said City Councilman Robert Wittenstein. “I’d like us to be more ambitious on new paving.”

Wittenstein suggested looking for $400,000 to $450,000 that could be diverted towards resurfacing roads.

The council agreed that the budget committee should discuss reallocating money from the budget to go toward paving. The budget committee is set to meet April 28.

In 2010, Dunwoody spent $725,000 on road projects. For 2011, the city has already committed $2 million.

“For 2011 we’re going to move forward with putting together bid documents for a contractor to begin paving in August. Even if no additional money is allocated, we’re spending three times the amount that was spent last year,” Smith said. “This will be the first time people will start to see a noticeable improvement in the city streets.”