County Commissioners hear GDOT request for increased funding

Published 9:19 am Wednesday, September 14, 2022

The Decatur County Commissioners met for their first meeting of the month Tuesday morning. Some of the items on the agenda included considering bids for a backhoe for public works, considering approval of a state contract vehicle order, as well as an executive session on litigation.

The most discussed topic on the morning agenda was considering a Georgia DOT request for increased funding for the Whigham Dairy Road project. “A few weeks ago, we had some information from the Georgia Department of Transportation, that said that estimated cost had increased substantially,” county administrator Alan Thomas told the commissioners. In a letter sent by GDOT, the cost was estimated to have risen to $4,060,000, an increase of $2,216,000. A secondary utility fee of $265,800 was also initially included.

“GDOT basically said, ‘We need the local government to hold up their 30% of the cost, in addition to what they already agreed to,’” Thomas said. “So that is an increase of an additional $744,540. So the total cost or commitment locally to this project would go from $3,000,000 to $3,744,540.”

Thomas stated that the city of Bainbridge has been in touch on the issue, and agree to hold to the 70-30% cost split. When asked by other commissioners what would prevent GDOT to ask for more funding, Thomas said essentially nothing would. “I would never have envisioned, in January, that kind of an increase. Certainly we all envisioned some kind of increase due to the world economy as it is.”

The commissioners voted to approve the motion. The next County Commission meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 27, 7:00 PM.