More roundabouts coming
Newton County will get a second roundabout, at the intersection of U.S. Highway 278 and Ga. Highway 142 South.
The state will pay for the construction and the county will pay for lighting and maintenance, based on an agreement approved Tuesday by The Newton County Board of Commissioners.
The county currently pays a sheriff’s office deputy to direct traffic at the intersection on Sundays when the numerous churches in the area let out.
Only drivers coming from Highway 142 have to stop at the intersection. About 12,450 cars drive on that stretch of U.S. 278 every day, and 6,790 travel on Ga. 142, according to County Engineer Tom Garrett.
Also Tuesday, the board approved spending $25,000 of 2011 SPLOST money to improve Airport Road.
The county public works department will widen the aprons at the entrance of Airport Road from Ga. Highway 142 North so that buses can more easily enter and exit Airport Road at the new Flint Hill Elementary.
The apron widening is only a temporary fix but is needed before the school opens in early August. The county will have to have a deputy to direct traffic during peak school hours until the Airport Road and Ga. 142 intersection can be widened and realigned, Garrett said. The intersection widening is expected to start later this year and be completed in early 2012 and will also be paid for by 2011 SPLOST money.
All of airport road will have to be widened and rehabbed during the 2012 summer school break so that the road will be able to withstand the constant weight of school buses.
The board also approved a 75-cent fee being added to the cost of prepaid wireless phone in Newton County.
The fee is part of a state law that will take effect Jan. 1. It will be collected like sales tax and distributed to 911 centers based on the population size they serve.
Mike Smith, director of the 911 center, said he did not know how much his center would receive in revenue but said he hoped it would eventually reduce the amount of money paid by the city and county to operate the center.