Cordele Dispatch, Cordele, GA

Local news

February 10, 2013

Bridge construction could be problem

Vienna — Dooly Commissioners discussed potential problems that may accompany plans to replace two bridges on State Route 230 between Unadilla and Drayton at their Thursday meeting.

The construction of the new bridges will cause those sections of the road to be closed from 9-12 months, potentially leaving citizens with long detour routes to travel.

Commissioner David Barron said there is heavy traffic on that road, and he asked about a runaround bridge being put in place for the convenience of citizens traveling the road.

Chairman Terrell Hudson informed commissioners that according to the Department of Transportation there are no current plans to put a runaround bridge in place.

The DOT, he said, recently held a public hearing to discuss the bridge replacements, but there was very little citizen participation, so there was no opposition to the projects. In fact, Hudson added, DOT officials were surprised by the low turnout.

Another option would be to build the new bridges alongside the existing ones so the road would not have to be closed. Both projects are in the state’s FY2016 budget, so commissioners still have time to find a solution to the road closure issue.

County Administrator Steve Sanders presented a request from Susan Arnett asking approval for the transit provider, RMS, to apply for funding for the county’s public transit program.

The funds, in the amount of $79,000, would come from the DOT. There are strict guidelines outlining how the money is to be spent. Commissioners approved that request.

Also on the board’s Thursday agenda was a request from the City of Vienna that the county allow the city to use its electronic voting machines for the city election in November.

Election Supervisor Brenetta Childs said if the county approves the request, the city will have to gain pre-clearance from the U. S. Department of Justice. She added that the city would need to use at least four or five of the machines.

Sanders said Bill NeSmith, county attorney, suggested that the city and county enter into an intergovernmental agreement regarding the use of the voting machines.

Since city election workers have never used these machines, commissioners were concerned if training would be available. Childs said training is available online.

Sanders said he would consult the county attorney and get back with commissioners at the next meeting. A decision was tabled until then.

Vienna citizen Ruel Bullington addressed commissioners regarding the lack of visible lines on county roads. Bullington told commissioners that when he is driving after dark, it is difficult to tell where the middle and sides of the roads are which is dangerous for drivers.

He said he had spoken previously with the commissioners and Sheriff Van Peavy regarding this matter, but nothing has been done yet.

Hudson advised Bullington that the board is aware of the problem. He said commissioners have discussed using Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (TSPLOST) funds expected in March to paint new white lines on the roads.

He further explained that financial limitations often delay needed projects. “We are actively seeking a solution to the problem,” he added.

Also on the agenda:

• Commissioners approved a request from Dooly Schools Superintendent Dr. Grady Miles for $17,000 to assist with school safety.

Dr. Miles said that the most recent school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut have thrust the matter of school safety into the forefront. “We want to ensure the safety of Dooly’s students.”

• A decision to officially abandon Hilltop Rd. north of Unadilla was tabled.

Commissioners received a request from Danny West to abandon Coyote Rd. south of Lilly. A public hearing will be advertised and held before a decision is reached on that matter.

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