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LMIG paving projects underway

County commissioners discussed road projects and heard from several citizens about the proposed housing development in Zebulon at their Nov. 25 meeting. County manager John Hanson said a majority of LMIG funding will go toward repairing Williamson-Zebulon Road, one of the most traveled roads in Pike County. He said other roads have been added to the list for any resurfacing or patching that could be paid for with the rest of the LMIG funds. Those roads are Hemphill, McKinley and Old Meansville roads. Hanson said other roads are on the SPLOST project list and Pike will obtain road paving equipment and training from Caterpillar to patch roads across the county. ’This alternative allows us to make significant patches and use funds across the county from SPLOST rather than using all the funds on just one project,’ he said. ‘Everybody will benefit from repairs to roads that need them and we’ll get a little more longevity from those roads. The payments are a little less than what we anticipated and equipment will allow us to do projects we talked about in the roads workshop. We won’t be committed beyond the SPLOST period and when the lease terminates at 18 months, we can determine whether or not we want to continue to use the equipment.’ The county will line up financing for the equipment in January with plans to start patching and resurfacing roads in March. Hanson said public works plans to use probationers as flagmen on busier roads where two flag men will be required on each end of the road work. The town hall portion of the meeting packed the room as citizens gathered to ask commissioners to oppose subdivision plans in Zebulon. James Quick of the Pike County Concerned Citizens Council shared his concerns and asked commissioners to help fight the project. ’We come to you for your support and ask that you as our elected officials join us in this endeavor as I’m sure this project will increase taxes across the county,’ he said. ‘If this project goes through as proposed, there will be 450 housing units ‘“ roughly three housing units per acre. The square footage would be smaller than Zebulon’s minimum requirements too. What recourse do we as citizens have when we cannot trust our government to uphold its own ordinance?’ Other citizens spoke as well, one noting how as a project manager he has seen many planned developments fall into disarray and become centers for criminal activity. Bobby Blalock said Zebulon and Pike worked to put a sewage line to TenCate and the Industrial Park on Highway 19. That line would be used for the new housing project, preventing it from being used by future developers in the industrial complex. Charlie Boyt said his land is right next to the property and across the road is a subdivision that has never been completed. Many of the homes have been foreclosed. He said allowing the project to continue would lead to empty homes and cause an eyesore. During the commissioner’s reports, Carol Bass said Pike will be unable to do anything to prevent the housing units from being built. ’I think all the people in this room need to know this board didn’t have anything to do with what happened at Zebulon city council,’ she said. ‘The county and the city are two separate entities and our hands are tied.’ Hanson told commissioners that interviews have been conducted for the fire chief position and the committee will select a new fire chief the week after Thanksgiving. ’We had two very good interviews,’ he said. ‘We were pleased to have great candidates step forward. They are both from Pike and work for the fire department.’

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