County to pave seven roads

The Covington News - - THE SECOND FRONT - GABRIEL KHOULI gkhouli@cov­news.com

New­ton County is re­ceiv­ing its an­nual road-paving fund­ing boost from the state, and res­i­dents will see work on seven roads this fall.

The New­ton County Board of Com­mis­sion­ers voted last week to ap­prove spend­ing $337,512 as a lo­cal match to re­ceive $894,910 in state fund­ing to re­pair and pave lo­cal roads.

Bids for the work are due Sept. 17. County Trans­porta­tion Di­rec­tor Tom Gar­rett hopes to present bids to the board at the Sept. 24 meet­ing and said work could be­gin within a week or two of ap­proval and take some 45 to 60 days to com­plete.

Lo­cal fund­ing will come from the 2011 SPLOST and the gen­eral fund.

The Somerset Springs sub­di­vi­sion and High­lands For­est Lane were both on the 2011 SPLOST list, Gar­rett told the board last week, so $283,090 in SPLOST fund­ing will be used for those roads and will cover the county’s re­quired 30 per­cent lo­cal match for all seven projects.

Gar­rett said the county is us­ing SPLOST projects and money to avoid de­plet­ing the gen­eral fund’s paving bud­get, which is only $400,000-plus for the en­tire year; $54,422 would still come out of the gen­eral fund bud­get.

The five re­main­ing roads — Wil­liams, County Road 229, Fairview, Cowan and Flat Shoals — are rated

among the worst in the county.

County Com­mis­sioner John Dou­glas asked why the por­tion of County Road 229 head­ing south from Wil­low Wood Road wasn’t be­ing paved, be­cause he said the area has many pot­holes close to the Cooper Road in­ter­sec­tion. Gar­rett said the traf­fic count was much higher on the por­tion of the road north to U.S. 278.

Chair­man Keith El­lis said of­fi­cials were try­ing to make de­ci­sions based on facts and fig­ures, in­clud­ing traf­fic counts and ac­ci­dent re­ports.

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