$358,000 grant for roads
By Stephanie Johns
The county has received a Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant (LMIG) for $357,965 to improve the local road network.
At last week’s Board of Commissioners (BOC) meeting, Morgan County Manager Michael Lamar explained that the BOC already approved the list of roads to be improved. Those roads are Mt. Zion, Sugar Creek and Bethany roads. Lamar said those three roads alone are probably going to take up the entire grant amount.
He noted that because the Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (TSPLOST) had been voted down, local governments will now be required to match 30 percent of the grant, which will be around $100,000, as opposed to the 10 percent the county would have been responsible for if the TSPLOST had been passed.
In other BOC news:
• Lamar said response to the BOC’s letter requesting vendors for their auto parts, auto repair, and wrecker needs was low: Conner’s Auto Parts (NAPA), Madison Car Care Center, Bo’s Wrecker Service, Madison Muffler & Brake, Mullins Auto Center, Morris Wreckers & Truck Repair, Inc. responded.
Lamar recommended using a rotation system for those repair and wrecker service providers who responded. The wreckers will be used on six-month terms while the repair services will be used on three-month terms. He added that it might be best to shop around for parts when they have a need as only one vendor responded.
Lamar said there’s something in the works with Youngblood Motors and possibly even Heyward Allen Motor Co. in Athens to make county employees preferred customers with those dealerships. He later explained that preferred customers receive discounts on vehicles.
• Gregg Pennington, Morgan County Public Works superintendent, was unable to attend the meeting so Lamar and Morgan County Planning and Zoning Director Chuck Jarrell spoke about road paving. Lamar shared Pennington’s recommendation that the BOC go ahead and pave the roads already approved, including Grayson Point and Sweet Briar Trace.
Lamar recommended that the BOC consider repaving some of the roads within the year. He added that the money to pay for the repaving would have to come from SPLOST funds.
Jarrell asked whether or not the BOC would accept the roads that have been abandoned by developers. No answer was given.
• BOC Vice Chair Andy Ainslie asked Lamar about the county’s fuel expense and whether or not the county is doing anything different to be aware of fuel useage.
Lamar said that there was a policy that non-emergency county personnel are to get out of their cars and shut off their engines as opposed to sitting in an idling car with the engine running.
BOC Chair Ellen Warren said that a representative from the Madison City Council asked her if the city and county could go in together and put in their own gas system that would service both city and county. Warren said she thought it would be “a whole lot cheaper” to do this.
Ainslie asked about the county’s current gas tank size.
Shea Green, county administrator in Roads and Bridges, later clarified that the county has one 6,000-gallon gasoline tank on the outside of the fence at 2780 Athens Highway. This tank serves the Sheriff’s Department, the Recreation Department and EMA.
There are two 10,000-gallon tanks – one gasoline and one diesel – on the inside of the fence that serve the Agriculture Department, ambulances, Animal Control, Code Enforcement, the GIS Department, Planning and Development, Public Buildings, Roads and Bridges, Solid Waste and Transit.
Warren said she’d been talking to some city council members about projects such as this one that the county and city could work together on.
Printed in the September 27, 2012 edition