Lee road resurfacing list OK'd

LEESBURG, Ga. -- The good news for Lee County drivers: The County Commission approved a seven-road resurfacing list Tuesday night at its business session that could lead to smoother and safer driving in the near future.

The bad news: The Department of Transportation's Local Maintenance Improvement Grant for the county, according to Director of Planning and Engineering Bob Alexander, will total around $290,000. And at about $75,000 per mile for resurfacing, that total might be enough for the No. 1 project on the Public Works department's list: Middle Road from State Route 32 to SR 91.

"We try to prioritize our list according to a number of factors," Public Works Director Mike Sistrunk said. "We look at the strength of the road, the oxidation factor, the last time the road was resurfaced and the maintenance costs of the roads.

"The surface of a road usually lasts about eight to 10 years. The last time that stretch of Middle Road was done was, I think, in the 1970s. It definitely is the No. 1 project on our list."

Other roads on the wish list, which the County Commission approved Tuesday but can amend through April of 2011, are sections of Palmyra Road, Northampton Road, Westfield Drive, Danbury Lane, West Doublegate Drive and Century Road West.

"We have to turn in the list by July 31 to qualify for the grant," Alexander told commissioners. "That doesn't mean we're committed to them."

At the brief meeting, the Commission approved a final bid on a resurfacing project for Pinewood Road, OK'd an update of the county's hazard mitigation plan and granted an alcohol license for wine and beer sales at the new Publix supermarket, scheduled to open next month.

The board also approved Patricia Remington to fill a vacancy on the Department of Family and Children Services Board, voted to continue a grant for the Council of Juvenile Court Judges of Georgia, and OK'd revisions to the county's personnel policy that set reimbursement limits for lodging, travel and meal expenses for out-of-town business on the county's behalf and set "reasonable notice" limits for employees who resign from county positions.

Just before the meeting ended, Commissioner Dennis Roland asked to make a comment to the Board.

"I noticed in this book a plat and discussion of purchasing property on Forrester Parkway to use for a recreational complex," Roland said. "There are a number of things to do with county business that I've found out about like this or by reading it in the paper. I'd like to be included in such future discussions."

Newly re-elected Commission Chairman Ed Duffy assured Roland he would be.

"Your point is well-taken, Mr. Roland," Duffy said. "Be assured that you will be included in future discussions."

After the meeting, Commissioner Betty Johnson pointed out that the item Roland questioned had been an agenda item -- and had been discussed -- at the Commission's retreat in February.

"It was discussed and he was in attendance," Johnson said before taking the retreat agenda to Roland.

"I stand corrected," Roland said when first notified of the agenda, but he later indicated his understanding of the retreat discussion was that any such land purchase for recreational purposes was for a future special-purpose local-option sales tax item, if the SPLOST agenda passed.

"I didn't know there was any kind of discussion to actually purchase land," Roland said. "Nobody's mentioned that to me."