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County discusses road work, new SPLOST

County commissioners discussed the possibility of a 2016 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax referendum to pay for road improvements only at their Tuesday, Sept. 29 meeting. Commissioners discussed the 2015 LMIG Williamson Zebulon Road Project and county manager John Hanson noted that after the quantity analysis, the project amount was reduced by $25,000. Road work is scheduled to start this week, weather permitting. Hanson proposed widening Williamson-Zebulon Road by two feet and continue paving to Highway 362. He said he talked with the city of Williamson about them paying 40% of the cost at $75,399 and the county paying 60% of the cost at $113,098. Hanson said the city of Williamson approved the project at their Thursday, Oct. 1 meeting and the road will be paved from end to end. Commissioner James Jenkins asked if Blount Construction had been asked how much it would cost if they were to come back later to do this. County manager Hanson said Blount Construction indicated to him if they did this as a separate project it would be significantly higher, but he has not asked them to give a quote to come back in 2016. Commissioner Jenkins asked if the city of Williamson has the funds to contribute to the project. Hanson said he was not sure what funds they have readily available, but if it is decided they will contribute the 40% there will be an Intergovernmental Agreement signed and authorized for the funding before committing the work to Blount Construction. County attorney Rob Morton said any action the board may want to take could be contingent upon the city of Williamson’s approval and their ability to obtain funding. Commissioners voted unanimously in favor of the project, with the guaranteed 40% support of Williamson. According to county manager Hanson, he spoke with each mayor in Pike and several are interested in possibly being involved in the SPLOST. A meeting to discuss the issue will be held with each mayor Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 1 p.m. and the public is invited to attend. Hanson said more information about the details of the referendum will be presented to commissioners at the Wednesday, Oct. 14 meeting at 9 a.m. The deadline for putting together the referendum is Nov. 30 so it can appear on the March 30 election ballot during the presidential preference election. ’Roads are our number one issue in Pike County and there are a lot of basic needs to be addressed,’ he said. ‘We are trying to be proactive but we are also playing catch up with our roads.’ Hanson said the 2016 SPLOST could be divided based on the 2012 Local Option Sales Tax that is currently in effect between the county and cities. He said based on SPLOST revenue for the past 12 months, as much as $5.8 million could be raised for road improvements during the six-year SPLOST collections. The county also: ’¢ Approved a request from Bryan Richardson, commander of American Legion Post 197 for a proclamation making Nov. 7 Pike County Military Killed in Action Recognition Day. ’¢ Approved request from fire chief Rick O’Barr of the Pike County Fire Department to use the courthouse grounds Oct. 24 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for a fundraiser for the fire department. ’¢ Appointed Curtis Ward to the J. Joel Edwards Public Library Board to fill an unexpired three year term set to expire Aug. 31, 2017. ’¢ Appointed Dr. Donna Haney to the Pike County Board of Health as an acting physician to fill a six-year term set to expire June 30, 2021. ’¢ Heard a successful trial was held regarding a dog deemed as dangerous in September. County attorney Rob Morton said there is also another dangerous dog situation in which the owner does not want to dispute and agrees with euthanasia. He said David Allen and his staff are doing an excellent job in enforcing the ordinances not only in Animal Control but also in cleaning up the county. ’¢ Approved the cost of the installation of fencing previously purchased for fields 1 and 8 to be paid from Recreation Impact Fees. It was noted that there is a lot of erosion near the ball fields and commissioner Guy asked recreation director Kevin Teate about bids to place sod in that area. Teate said due to the expense, he was looking at getting quotes for sod and using, staff and volunteer labor and Soccer Association assistance to install the sod. ’¢ Heard the heavy rains have taken a toll on roads and gravel will be placed as soon as the roads have dried out enough to be effective. Commissioner Tim Daniel, Tim Guy and Tommy Powers all noted they had received calls about roads and Powers praised the recent work done on McKinley Road. ’¢ Approved the 2016 resolution for quarterly amendments to the 2015-16 budget. ’¢ Approved the 2016 Holiday Schedule.

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