Thursday, August 31, 2006
County roads, bridges get attention this summer
By SUE WATSON
The Marshall County Board of Supervisors is tying up projects in the current fiscal year budget and meeting with departments to discuss the FY 2006-07 budget. Civic groups and districts are making their budget requests known.
Dry weather this year has provided a good opportunity to get lots of road work done. And the board is working on next year’s funding of road and bridge projects.
Two road and bridge projects are nearing closeout that have been in the construction phase this year, the Strickland Road project and the South Red Banks bridge project, according to county engineer Larry Britt. Both projects were funded, in the main, by state program funds.
About one and a half miles of Strickland Road, a narrow gravel road west of the Warsaw community, is now paved.
Residents in the Strickland Road area have said they have waited for decades to get their road paved. Strickland begins west of Warsaw and continues to the DeSoto County line.
District 3 Supervisor Keith Taylor is pleased to get Strickland Road paved.
“In 2000 when I went into office, I felt like it was the most dangerous road (high hills and narrow spots in the road) in my district, and possibly in the whole county,” Taylor said. “It was such a big project financially, we asked for state aid funding to help pay for the improvements and we were granted that in 2005. The first phase of the project is complete and now we have already approved overlaying of asphalt over the top of Strickland Road. We’ve already been given the green light. Our goals are to have it finished before the first of next year.”
The two bridges on south Red Banks Road near Marianna are completed. Residents using Red Banks as a route to their homes had to detour for many months while construction was underway. Now they have safe bridges and a good road to travel in and out from their homes. District 4 Supervisor George Zinn III has said he took many complaints from his constituents because of the lengthy detour period, but now residents have two new, safe bridges.
Another bridge project under replacement and funded with state money is the Coldwater River Bridge on North Red Banks Road.
Asphalt overlay of 4.03 miles of Cayce Road in Taylor’s district is also being paid for with state road funds. Expected to be completed this year, Cayce will be overlaid with a new layer of asphalt from Highway 178 to Highway 72.
About one mile of Hernando Road west of Lee’s Crossing is also being overlaid with state money.
Two new state aid program road projects were notched forward last week by the Board of Supervisors and construction work may get underway next spring or summer.
About 3.5 miles of asphalt overlay in Supervisor George Zinn’s district starting at Marianna Store and going east to near Pegues Road will get a new layer of asphalt overlay next year using state funding sources. And approximately 3.7 miles of asphalt overlay on Hernando Road beginning at Lee’s Crossing and coming back toward Holly Springs is scheduled in Supervisor Willie Flemon’s district.
Locally funded projects
Other construction on county roads paid for by local taxes include the following projects either completed, working or scheduled.
In Supervisor Willie Flemon’s district, 0.6 miles of paving on Shipp Lane, 0.5 miles of paving on Roling Fields Road, 0.6 miles of paving on Watkins Road; 1.0 mile of paving on the west end of Whitten Road; and 0.4 miles of paving on Roosevelt Road is completed.
“I’m asking for reseal of Meadow View Circle and Valley View Circle south of Victoria, and I’m trying to get a mile of asphalt overlay on the west end of Gardner Road off South Red Banks Road running over to Victoria Road,” Flemon said.
“It’s been a plus because most of the roads we are paving are gravel roads and will be taking people out of the dust,” Flemon said. “We are trying to pave all the roads. Most of the gravel roads are in the past. This is a new day in time and we need to move on from gravel roads.
“Our road manager (Larry Hall), has done a wonderful job for us. The man has been a plus to the county ever since I’ve been here.”
In Supervisor Eddie Dixon’s district, 1.1 mile of Jamie Drive, 1.0 mile of Barry Road, 1.0 mile of Rice Chapel Road, 1.3 miles of Concord Road and 0.3 miles at Coldwater Cove is repaved or expected to be finished soon.
Dixon has asked for paving on 0.5 miles of Rooks Road, 0.6 miles of Bryant Road, and 0.3 miles at Dutch Circle. If weather conditions permit, paving of 0.5 miles at Marshview Lane, asphalt overlay of 1.0 mile on South Slayden Road and reseal of 6.2 miles of South Slayden Road could be done this year. Also, grade and drain work on 0.75 miles of Valentine Road (gravel road) is working.
In Supervisor Keith Taylor’s district, 1.2 miles of Bubba Taylor Road, 0.6 miles of Beagle Club Road, 1.1 miles of Duram Road, 0.4 miles of James Black Road, 0.3 miles on Fannie Drive, 0.2 miles at Tuttle Lane, 0.5 miles on School House Road, 0.7 miles on Canal Ridge Road, 0.3 miles on Cathy Road, 0.5 miles on Rayford Road, and 3.4 miles on Quinn Road are paved or expected to be paved by the end of the year.
Reseal of 0.6 miles on Ridge Road, 0.4 miles on Valley Road, and 1.4 miles on Scenic Drive is either complete or nearing completion. Taylor has asked for 1.0 mile of reseal on Hillview Circle and 1.2 miles of asphalt overlay on Farley Road and 0.6 miles of reseal on Mason Road and 2.0 miles of reseal on Bubba Taylor Road.
In Supervisor George Zinn’s district, 1.9 miles of McClatchy Road, 1.5 miles of Wilkins Chapel Road, 0.4 miles of Spring Dove Road, 0.4 miles of Douglas Road, 2.2 miles on Hardin Road, and 1.0 mile of Young Road have been paved this year.
One mile of asphalt overlay was placed on Chulahoma Road.
Zinn has requested 0.8 miles of paving on Mays Road and 2 miles of paving on Kizer Mountain Road which may be completed this year, weather permitting.
As the largest geographical district in Marshall County, approximately 90 miles of gravel roads remain to be paved.
Paving of about 4.1 miles of Wilkins Chapel Road in Supervisor Ronnie Bennett’s district was finished last week. The segment of road begins in Waterford in District 5 and travels westward to Laws Hill Road tying in near Highway 4 west, a few miles east of Chulahoma in George Zinn’s district. The paving of Wilkins Chapel will provide a good surface and easy access for individuals living in the Potts Camp, Bethlehem and Waterford areas to Senatobia.
Other roads in District 5 that are either paved or expected to be paved this season are 0.4 miles of Hamilton Chapel Road, 1.5 miles on Old Oxford Road, 1.1 miles on Evans Road, 0.3 miles on Winborn Tower Road, 0.3 miles on McCallum Road, and 5.2 miles of reseal on Potts Camp Road west toward Waterford.
“I am going to try to finish the rest of the reseal - about 5 more miles - next year or the year after,” Bennett said.
Not enough funds were available this year to pave Old Oxford Road all the way to Highway 310, Bennett said, but the paving to 310, then south of 310 all the way around to Betty Davis Grocery will be done in successive years.
2.3 miles of Brents Road is scheduled for paving this year, weather permitting.
A new two-span bridge was built on Berry Road this year.
“I’m pleased with what we’ve done,” said Bennett. “The county has done more in the past two years than they have ever done in paving roads and replacing bridges - all without raising taxes. In four or five more years there couldn’t be any gravel roads left in Marshall County the way we are going right now.”
About 60 miles of gravel road are left to pave in District 5, the second largest geographical district in the county.
Districts 1,2, and 3 are more highly populated and smaller geographically, and fewer miles of gravel road remain to be paved in those districts.
Supervisors have said they hope to finish paving all the unpaved roads in the county in the next several years. Paved roads cost less to maintain that gravel ones.
County bridge replacements
Bridge replacements have been a priority for the Board of Supervisors this year. In addition to the one on Berry Road, this year two bridges on Hudsonville Road in District 2 were replaced, a concrete bridge was built on Tyson Road, and a drainage pipe 10 feet in diameter was replaced on Isom Chapel Road in District 2.
Clearing and widening of DeSoto Road in District 3 is underway, and the road department hopes to complete a turn lane and widening at the intersection of Cayce and Wingo roads.
In other business, Supervisors also approved 31 bridge inspections paid for with federal and state dollars. A number of bridges are inspected each year on an annual rotation basis, Britt said.
Supervisors tabled a motion for a resolution to allow the county to develop a TIF (Tax Increment Financing) plan for an unspecified project up to $1 million. The tax revenues of the TIF District would be used to pay back loans for infrastructure costs incurred by a project, if one is developed. Supervisors tabled the motion while the board attorney checks discrepancies in the supporting document for the TIF plan.
County Administrator Larry Hall recommended that several surplus vehicles be purchased from Mississippi Department of Transportation auctions. The vehicles would find use in the zoning department and animal control and other departments.
Board attorney Tacey Clark Clayton reported that a refinancing of county bond debt saved the county $89,000 in interest for the upcoming year.
At the first of August board meeting, supervisors heard a request for support of the Mt. Pleasant Lions Youth Football Ensure Program. The league was organized in March this year to provide fall football for the Mt. Pleasant area, according to Kesha Collins, one of the organizers.
She said H.W. Byers School has not had a football team since 1979.The league’s mission is to provide a safe, healthy environment for at-risk and well children.
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