Crisp County approves funding for seven figure projects

Published 8:46 am Wednesday, September 20, 2017

CORDELE — A pair of big projects in Crisp County was approved and will begin in the coming months following the unanimous decision by The Crisp County Board of Commissioners.

The approval of fiscal year 2017 paving projects, which included a bid of $1,570,705 Reeves Construction Company to patch and resurface and edge widen about three miles of Drayton Road according to Public Works Director Carl Gamble.

In addition, the bid also includes resurfacing and striping neighborhood roads as part of the LMIG and systems safety package.

Because the county is using this for LMIG, Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant, it cuts the cost down to $623,160.68.

One of the stipulation is that road work on Drayton Road must be started before December 31. The other roads will not be complete until April 2018 and Gamble said they would have to apply for other grant packages in 2018.

Crisp County Finance Director Sherrie Leverett said the county did not have enough SPLOST money to do this project so around $500,000 of the cost would come from TSPLOST funds, cutting those funds in half for major capital expenses.

The board unanimously voted to pass the approval following a motion by Councilman Wallace Mathis and a second by James R. Dowdy.

The second big project discussed was the Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Transportation Airport project and whether they should proceed by approving an E-Contract.

The project will be in two phases, with a total bid of $1,480,767 by Peed Brothers. Federal funds from the FAA come in at $174,674.94, while funds from the state of Georgia will $973,835.33. Leverett reported that left Crisp County with a total of  $332,256 to be paid out of the airport SPLOST fund.

As part of the $1.4 million bid, Roberts Company will be the construction professionals with contract engineers.

The board declared that National Surgical Technologist Day would be on Thursday, September 21 after issuing a proclamation for it.

A resolution on 911 charges was confirmed with the cost being $1.50 per month for landline, wireless and DOIP. The cost for prepaid wireless telecommunications came out to $.75 per month and both were passed.

They also approved an update to the per diem meal and incidentals section of the official travel policy. Leverett, when asked, said it would increase the amount by around $15-20. Currently, the policy allowed officials travelling on business for Crisp County $30 per day.

In the next meeting on October 10, they will revisit a request from adjacent property owners on the abandonment of an undeveloped road.

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Beal-Shephard tries to weather the storm over City HallBy Neil B. McGahee Managing Editor Cordele City Commissioner Vesta Beal-Shephard was elected in 2001 to represent the people of Ward One. By all accounts, she has done a very good job of relating to the citizens living in her ward. Recently, however, a dark cloud has settled over City Hall. From the first day of his term, newly-elected commission chairman Joshua Antwan Deriso began taking verbal snipes on social media at some of the other commissioners. Shephard says she just ignored it at first but on April 9, Deriso posted on Facebook “…It was much anticipated for Comm. Rainey to be against change. Comission (sp) Shephard fights against me the hardest…does not know much about government at all…She needs to be voted out next year 2023.” A few days later, he posted live saying …“I am totally over the games, the political stuff…a lot of people want to make what I said about Commissioner Shephard something about disagreement with Commissioner Shephard. It was her ignorance and short-sightedness…not able to understand what we can do as a government. “When there were people in charge that didn’t look like us…white people… she didn’t question anything. Since I became chairman, she has blocked everything…you don’t know what you are doing; you don’t know what you are talking about.” Shephard winces as she listens to Deriso. “I don’t do drama and I don’t do pettiness,” she said. “I refute everything he has said about me. I’m not angry with Josh; I am somewhat disturbed that he has targeted me, a citizen of Cordele; a black female…he accused me of loving white folks. Well I do love white folks, and brown folks and black folks — Haitian, Jamaican, Indian, Cuban, Mexican — I have no discrimination to anyone. My job is to facilitate for people in this ward and when I vote, I vote my conviction.” Shephard said she doesn’t know why Deriso has such hard feelings against her. “It’s so sad, I have to say that I never saw it coming,” she said. ”But I have to voice my opinion.” But one sad thing has evolved from this. “This is the first time I have been discriminated against by a fellow commissioner,” she said. “I used to invite people to my home if they had a problem. But I had to stop that. If you want to meet with me, we will have to go to a public area or to my office at city hall. I am going to keep my distance for the simple reason that I don’t want to endanger myself.