LEESBURG -- Lee County Planning and Engineering Director Bob Alexander presented an updated road paving priority list to the Lee County Commission at its work session Tuesday evening. The list included some familiar names.
The top 12 roads of the 20 listed were included in the Special-Purpose Local-Option Sales Tax IV projects list that was passed by county voters almost a decade ago.
"The top 20 list is based on the uncompleted SPLOST IV road list, the amount of road maintenance required and the connectivity to other main roads," Alexander said. "The first 12 roads on that list come from the old SPLOST IV list, the next five are significant because of their connectivity to other main roads, and the final three have the highest maintenance rating.
"The cost for paving all the unpaved roads in the county would be $34,950,000, but it would be substantially higher if Public Works crews were not utilized (to do prep work). The estimated cost of the top 20 roads is $9,750,000."
The roads approved for paving in SPLOST IV and costs are Old Leslie Road (1.9 miles at $570,000) Flowing Well Road South (1 mile, $300,000), Nesbitt Road (1.1 miles, $330,000), Eagle Pond Road (3.2 miles, $960,000), Murphy Road (3.8 miles, $1,140,000), Bruner Lane (0.4 mile, $120,000), Mathis Road (0.2 mile, $60,000), Ackers Circle (0.2 mile, $60,000), Childers Road (2.8 miles, $840,000), Scott Road (1 mile, $300,000), Pettis Road (0.6 mile, $180,000) and Flowing Well Road North (1.3 miles, $390,000).
Cost of the roads on the list with significant connectivity are Bonds Trail Road (2.3 miles, $690,000), Dan Green Road (4.8 miles, $1,440,000), Livingston Road (1.2 miles, $360,000), Dixie Road (3.3 miles, $990,000) and Turner Road (2.5 miles, $750,000).
The remaining roads with the highest maintenance numbers are Carter Place Road (1.3 miles, $390,000), Gillis Lane (0.5 mile, $150,000) and Middle Road North (2 miles, $600,000).
Commissioner Dennis Roland made a pitch later in the meeting to include Old Leslie Road on the paving list.
"I don't think that road needs paving as bad as most of the others, but I'd like to see us put it on the priority list because it was voted on in SPLOST IV," Roland said.
There were no public comments at a public hearing called to discuss the county's Fiscal Year 2013 budget, although County Administrator Tony Massey noted that a clerical error by the state that called for the county to pay utilities costs of almost $10,000 at the building leased to the local Department of Family and Children Services unit had been corrected and the check for those services returned to the county.
The commission also discussed a requested change order of $107,476.99 on the Flowing Well and Donald Road paving project currently under way, prompting Commissioner Rick Muggridge to ask if requests for proposal shouldn't be sent out. Alexander noted that the state Department of Transportation had requested that the speed limit on State Route 91 be increased from 45 mph to 55 mph.
The commission approved an early vote that allowed them to OK $7,825 in funding to retrofit a tower at the county's 911 center so that the center could receive the 800-megahertz radio signals from the new emergency radio system being installed.
County Attorney Jimmy Skipper discussed a parade ordinance he drew up in response to a request by the Lee County Sheriff's Office. The ordinance, modeled after a state law, would require any group planning a public demonstration to receive a permit 10 days before an event. The ordinance was requested after members of the controversial Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, sought information about county laws as they considered protesting at the recent funeral of Lance Cpl. Steven Sutton, who died in Afghanistan.
Roland asked if the commission shouldn't pre-approve ordinances before they are sent to the county attorney, prompting a terse response from Skipper.
"I do not prepare ordinances because I think they're good or bad," Skipper said. "I don't object to what you're saying, but sometimes things move very quickly. This was one of those cases. If you'd prefer me to wait until you meet and vote on a proposed ordinance, that's what I'll do."