Leesburg Council OKs road project

LEESBURG, Ga. -- The Leesburg City Council approved a DOT-revised maintenance project at the intersection of state highways 32 and 195 at U.S. 19 during the council's monthly meeting Tuesday night.

Lee County Planning and Engineering Director Bob Alexander told council members the revised plan, which allows for new Department of Transportation regulations, would mean the removal of four or five planned parking spaces and the inclusion of pedestrian walks in the historic downtown section.

"There have been several presentations over a period of time," Alexander said. "This project has kind of evolved to bring it up to (new) DOT standards. It requires some adjustments not in the original plan."

What the project does include, though, are dual left-hand turn lanes that will help further alleviate downtown traffic congestion during morning school drop-off and afternoon pick-up.

"This project is part of an overall transportation plan that is working well," Alexander said. "The (recently completed) R.B. Lee (truck route) has made a difference, and the North Leesburg Bypass will be the other part of the solution that will have a big impact in the city.

"The next step is to take the proposal to the DOT, but I wanted to bring it before the City Council to make sure y'all were comfortable with it first. This is only a partial solution to our traffic issues, but we've discussed taking this one step at a time."

Bill Mitchell, the city's recently hired wastewater treatment plant operator, introduced himself to the council. He told council members he has 30 years experience in the field and confirmed after the meeting that the Leesburg plant would be his third start-up.

"We plan to put water through (the plant) in the first week of October," Mitchell said. "The construction company (Ruby Collins of Smyrna) has taken an aggressive approach of wanting to be gone from the project by the first of November. We're hoping they'll be able to do that."

Also at the meeting, the council approved a proposed multijurisdictional hazard mitigation plan, agreed to extend an existing sign moratorium for another 45 days and set tentative special-purpose local-option sales tax work session dates (Oct. 1 and 15) for the city's Planning, Development and Zoning Committee.