Thursday, November 10, 2011
Speed, weight limits discussed
By SUE WATSON
The Marshall County Board of Supervisors asked how to set speed limits on some roads requested by residents.
County engineer Larry Britt said supervisors have authority to set speed limits and that Red Banks Road south of Lee’s Crossing has been a trouble area for speeding.
“It is probably designed at 40 miles per hour,” he said.
Supervisor George Zinn III said residents are complaining about speeding on South Red Banks Road in the area of Hawks Feed Mill and south of that.
Britt also said a load limit has also been discussed on Cayce Road to stop heavy truck traffic.
County administrator Larry Hall suggested weight limits starting at Highway 302 and going north to the state line should stay the same. But he also said weight limits should be lowered south of 302 to stop further deterioration of Cayce Road, especially in the area of Coldwater Bottom.
“Trucks are cutting through to dodge the scales,” he said. “Truck traffic is coming in on Wingo Road.”
“You do have the right to set it,” Britt told the board.
Agent Bob Carrington presented a renewal premium for insuring automobiles, equipment and general liability. The premium was going up from $203,000 to $208,818, if coverage was kept the same, he said.
“What is driving up the cost is uninsured motorists on your vehicles,” he said. “One other county has eliminated it. It would be a $20,000 savings to eliminate it.”
Carrington said the county employees would be covered by workman’s comp insurance when driving a county vehicle and that the coverage would be better than uninsured motorists.
“We ran that past a group of lawyers and surprisingly, they agreed with us,” he said.
He said the county covers vehicles for collision on all vehicles under six years old.
“We have a lot of vehicles not covered under collision?” Zinn asked.
Carrington said the county has had very few claims on uninsured motorists and most departments were operating up-to-date vehicles.
Attorney Kent Smith said the downside to dropping uninsured motorist coverage could be the vehicles over six years old, but employees would definitely have workman’s comp and health insurance coverage as well.
“Workman’s comp is inferior coverage,” he said. “It is debatable whether it will cover as well (as uninsured motorists), but the insurance plan is good. I do not think we have to have uninsured motorists. It is cost saving from the county’s perspective.”
Carrington said liability coverage is good and with law enforcement, sovereign immunity kicks in as an added protection for workers.
Zinn said it would be a savings to drop the uninsured motorists coverage but the county buys lots of used vehicles at sales.
“You could take $20,000 and buy a whole fleet of vehicles,” Hall quipped.
Smith said there is an overlap in the workman’s comp and uninsured motorists and other coverages.
Supervisors voted to drop uninsured motorists coverage on the county fleet and for the premium of $185,214 for the next year’s coverage for the county.
In other business, the board of supervisors:
• approved board orders to purchase the Piggly Wiggly building and property, subject to appraisal, to approve Bonds Realty to do the appraisal and to seek financial options to pay for the property. The orders passed 3-1 with Zinn voting against the purchase. Supervisor Keith Taylor was absent.
• denied a request from the Lions Club to plant a tree and marker on the courthouse lawn. Supervisors said too many trees could be a problem and that shedding of leaves and debris on the courthouse has caused expensive repair and cleanup of the property.
• opened bids for paving of about three miles of road. Lehman Roberts was awarded the contract for a bid of $322,883. Standard Construction of Germantown, Tenn., bid $328,466. State engineering estimates for the work was $354,571.
• heard a report on redistricting planning from Smith. He said proposals are in progress and that once drafted, the county will advertise for a hearing. The plan will include both redistricting of supervisor districts and drawing up a third justice court judge and constable district.
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