Thursday, June 2, 2011
Board works to stretch funds for county roads
By SUE WATSON
The Marshall County Board of Supervisors is making its list of scheduled road projects and checking it twice.
Dollars to make improvements are stretched thin due to the downturn in the economy and the increased price for fuel-based road materials and supplies.
County engineer Larry Britt reviewed a list of roads eligible for STP (Federal Surface Transportation Program) monies. He said the county will be eligible to receive some STP money it can spend this year, if the road is programmed.
The allocation will be enough to do one mile of overlay or 2.5 miles of reseal, Britt said. STP eligible routes included portions of Bethlehem, Chewalla, Higdon, North Slayden, Cayce, Hernando, Marianna and Laws Hill roads, Britt said.
Supervisors voted to not make improvements on Old Highway 4 West, with supervisor George Zinn III dissenting, saying he did not see the available road improvement money being spent evenly over the districts.
“If it is on an STP route and a previous project, we may be able to do some reseal or overlay or maintenance,” Britt said after reading the list. “It needs to be approved before June 10 to spend the money this year.”
Therewith, supervisor Willie Flemon motioned to program a mile of road near Lee’s Crossing that overlaps both Zinn’s and Flemon’s districts. The motion passed unanimously.
Supervisors then discussed striping bids to be opened June 13. County administrator Larry Hall suggested that the county be allowed to do improvements it has planned to repair damaged roads before the striping takes place. Otherwise, the work would be wasted and covered up by road repair crews.
Britt said roads on the State Aid Program would be striped first and then some STP money would be available to do the last striping on county roads.
Supervisor Keith Taylor asked Britt to check on a waterline that was exposed after recent flooding in the Wingo Road area at the Chickasaw Trail Industrial Park. Britt said it could be covered in a simple procedure.
A recurring erosion problem on property owned by Bob Cato was discussed. The county had removed silt from erosion last year that filled the owner’s pond, but the new erosion caused by recent rains seemed to have filled a drainage pipe with silt.
Britt said cleaning out the pipe might do the job. The board then discussed who should be responsible for the work, the county or the city.
The board then passed a motion to do nothing at present until a letter could be sent to the City of Holly Springs concerning payment of half the bill for cleaning out the pond. The property is adjacent to the North Holly Springs bypass road.
Zinn brought up a problem on South Red Banks Road, south of Lee’s Crossing, where an erosion problem was caused on private property following the last heavy rain. The board agreed to check on the situation.
Supervisor Eddie Dixon commended Hall and two other county road employees for installing pipe on Isom Chapel Road on a Saturday. The pipe had erosion problems due to recent storms. Hall said while they were at it, they took out a fallen tree over Higdon Road, too.
In industrial development business, Bill Mobley with the Marshall County Industrial Development Authority said work is progressing on the Lighthouse Plastics building that is soon to be a recycling plant. Offices are cleaned up and the grounds are being kept up, he said.
Chancery clerk Chuck Thomas reminded the board about budget amendments by department in order to maintain cash flow. He asked for travel approval for employees in the sheriff’s department up for training this summer.
In his report, Hall asked for permission to get rights of entry for work to correct erosion problems adjacent to private properties.
He said meetings with federal and state emergency management officials may provide some reimbursement for work done to repair damages caused by flooding in the county.
The board signed a resolution that will pave the way for the county to receive money to build a sewer system at Cayce Road and Highway 72. Money is about in line to get the project moving, Hall said.
“We have arrived, to say the least,” he said.
The board took up an erosion problem affecting Gandy Circle in District 5 and approved a board order for a letter to be sent to the owner of a property who did some excavation that has produced large amounts of silt that covers the road after a rain.
Hall reported that a pipe has been installed on French Road that had washed out during the last storm. Pipes have been replaced on South Slayden Road and Johnny Walker Road.
He said some trees that have fallen over some creeks may need cleaning off to keep water from backing up. Many field ponds that usually catch water and hold it off the roads overflowed in the most recent rain, Hall said.
The board opened bids for various road materials from Rogers Group of New Albany, Lehman Roberts, APAC/Tenn., Ergon, and Standard Construction. The board took the bids under advisement.
Hall said ongoing projects change from hour to hour with new erosion problems being spotted over the county, particularly washing under drainage pipes and culverts.
“We are finding things every day by patrol,” he said.
Dixon motioned and the board voted unanimously to retain Kent Smith, board attorney, to represent the county against R.E.S. Dixon said the county should sue R.E.S. to get money back, that the county believes was overbilled by the company.
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