Citizen says roads crews wrecked mailboxes, signs

Published 9:36 pm Friday, November 11, 2011

A Decatur County man is accusing county mowing crews of damaging mailboxes and signs.
Dave Poucher, who lives on Booster Club Road in southern Decatur County, spoke before the Decatur County Board of Commissioners at their regular meeting Tuesday. He claimed that his mailbox, neighbors’ mailboxes, and several signs along the road had been damaged by negligent mowing crews.
“That’s what I know; I thought it would be helpful to you,” he said, showing several photos of the damage to commissioners.
Public Works Superintendent Dennis Medley said his department has not been getting complaints about other roads with similar damage, and doubted his crews are the culprit.
“We mow over 600 miles in the county and I’ve never gotten any other complaints,” he said. “I know that the sheriff’s office put out fliers about vandalism, going up and down Booster Club Road. I just don’t see any evidence that our mowers are doing this damage.”
Board Chairman David C. “Butch” Mosely asked Poucher if he had taken the photos immediately after the roads crews had mowed.
“It was a week to 10 days, whenever I got around to it,” said Poucher, who added that it cost him almost $200 to replace his mailbox.
Commissioner Russell Smith said he understood Poucher’s frustration, but noted that waiting too long to document the damage was undermining his argument.
“The next time that you see something that’s been torn up, give me a call and let me know,” he said. “I know Mr. Medley would like to know that date, as well. He can’t try to fix it when it’s two or three weeks down the road, unfortunately. If he goes to his foreman, his foreman will just say, ‘We didn’t do it.’ But if you tell [Medley] that day, then he can come down and maybe get some paint off the mailbox and see if it belongs to one of our mowers or tractors.
“Please just give us a call the day you see damage done. We want to be aware of it.”
In other business, the board:
• Heard an update on literacy from Debbie McIntyre, the director of LIFE (Learning Is For Everyone). McIntyre said her staff had recently begun a reading program at the jail, and that Undersheriff Wendell Cofer said it was already improving behavior at the jail.
McIntyre also noted that LIFE will start an adult reading program at the Friendship House in January.
• Approved an intergovernmental agreement between Decatur County, Thomas County, the City of Moultrie and Lowndes County for FEMA Type III Swift Water Teams. The $81,000 grant will be administered by Thomas County, and the team is designed to help rescue victims from swift water areas caused by flooding.

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