Improving dirt roads still tops the list

Published 7:14 pm Friday, May 28, 2010

Decatur County commissioners continue to make improving dirt roads one of their top priorities.

County Public Works Superintendent Dennis Medley provided updates on his department’s work on dirt road maintenance at commissioners’ Tuesday meeting.

Resident Floyd Minks spoke to commissioners regarding the poor condition of Carter’s Mill Road, which prompted a fairly long discussion among commissioners and county officials concerning road improvements.

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Medley said Public Works employees were currently working on Brock Cemetery Road and hoped to begin work on Robert Stephens Road next week. After working approximately two weeks on Robert Stephens, Public Works would head to Priest Road.

After Priest Road, the plan is for Public Works to try out an innovative technique for improving dirt roads. After making sure a road has adequate ditches, workers will lay down geotextile fabric on top of the road. Then, anywhere from six to eight inches, or more, of crushed rock and asphalt—known as graded aggregate base or GAB—will be placed on top of the fabric.

Commissioner Gary Phillips said the Public Works Department—formerly known as the Road Department—had developed a plan to build a holding pond to reduce stormwater flooding on Beaver Circle, located off Carter’s Mill Road. According to Phillips, the plan could not move forward because the county could not obtain property needed to build the holding pond on.

County to purchase property for tower

Commissioners agreed, by unanimous vote, to purchase an acre of property off Georgia 97 South near Faceville, which was formerly part of the Manley farm property for the future site of a broadband telecommunications tower.

The Decatur County government, which is partnering with Main Street Broadband on a project to extend wireless Internet throughout the county, will also acquire a three-acre easement that will serve as the tower fall zone, County Administrator Tom Patton said.

The Manley family has agreed to pay the county $10,000 to remove some agricultural plastic from the property in order to comply with federal environmental regulations, Patton said. In turn, the county will use the plastic agricultural insulation for the landfill’s third phase, currently under construction.

Silver Lake update

During the time reserved for commissioners’ remarks, Commissioner Russell Smith said he wanted to give an update on the Silver Lake Wildlife Management Area.

Smith said attempts have been made to get officials from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Division to visit Silver Lake. He said regional DNR officials have committed to coming sometime around June 7-8.

Smith alluded to an agreement between the county government and the DNR concerning site cleaning and maintenance of roads.

“They will meet with us and go out and look at the sites,” Smith said. “Hopefully, we can start to have the bike trails, camping areas and other types of recreation there.”

Other business

In other business, commissioners:

 Approved, by unanimous vote, a joint agreement between the county and the Industrial Development Authority with CSX Railroad concerning construction of a new rail spur to be extended off an existing spur near Spring Creek Road. According to Patton, R.W. Griffin Industries has need of a rail spur and would pay for its construction on land the county had previously deeded to the Industrial Authority.

 Approved, by unanimous vote, a bid of $19,180 from SIPS Team USA for insulated roof panels to be installed in the new visitation room at the Decatur County Prison on Airport Road.

 Held an closed session for the purpose of discussing personnel matters. Commissioners took no action upon resuming the open meeting.