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Pike SPLOST proposed for road upgrades

Pike County commissioners discussed resurfacing and road work and approved moving forward with the 2016 SPLOST referendum at their Nov. 24 meeting. Two items were approved to allow the SPLOST question to be added to the March 2016 ballot, the referendum itself and an accompanying intergovernmental agreement with each city in the county. ’There has been a lot of work on the SPLOST referendum and the intergovernmental agreements which spell out the way the money would be distributed to the cities, their percentages and SPLOST options and how it will be handled,’ said county manager John Hanson. ‘The ballot question is basically drafted to cover improvements to roads, streets and bridges – that is the main purpose of the SPLOST. If the county or cities complete all their road projects, then the remaining money has to be put back into the budget to lower the millage rate or to pay off any indebtedness.’ For example, the city of Williamson, which recently agreed to pay for the paving of Williamson-Zebulon Road through the city limits, could use any extra SPLOST funding to pay for the paving bill. ’Our SPLOST numbers are conservative and this question gives us all the options available to use taxpayers money to get as much work done as possible in a reasonable amount of time,’ said Hanson. ‘We hope taxpayers will see the value of what we are trying to do. This is just a continuation of a tax that is already in place.’ Commissioners also heard from Hanson that Blount Construction will wrap up the striping on Williamson Road the week of Dec. 7 and will then stripe Cook Road, McKinley Road, Old Meansville Road, Buchanan Road and Carver Road. The striping will cover a little more than nine miles on roads that have been recently repaired or resurfaced and are worn. Hanson said the city of Zebulon will help with the striping of Old Meansville Road. Commissioners were informed that due to heavy rains, several roads have been closed, including the gravel portion of Old Zebulon Road. A culvert pipe for Old Zebulon Road will be delivered Dec. 1 and installed Dec. 2. A section of Bethany Church Road is also closed due to an eroded culvert pipe and it will be delivered Dec. 3 and hopefully installed Dec. 4. Two other pipe replacements will take place on roads that are not closed, including Melville Brown Road and Johnson Road. ’The rain did speed up the process, but there was a lot of deterioration of the pipes and they were undersized so we will get larger pipes and have them installed,’ said Hanson. The county also: ’¢ Approved the alcohol license for retail sales of beer and wine for Saifullah Bhamani, doing business as The Rock Store on Highway 19 south in Zebulon. ’¢ Appointed Ron Snowden to the Pike County Water and Sewer Authority board to fill a five year term set to expire Dec. 31, 2020. ’¢ Appointed Tom Lacey and George Norris to the Two Rivers RC&D Council as Pike County representatives to fill one-year terms set to expire Dec. 31, 2016. Commissioners also heard a brief description of the council from Lacey who said it was formed to disperse funds from oil overcharges and now helps administer grants to different counties, specifically for road striping, cleaning under power lines and similar work. He said the council was also instrumental in establishing the Chestnut Oak facility in Pike County at no expense to taxpayers. ’¢ Reappointed Fred Roney to the Three Rivers Regional Commission Board to fill a one-year term set to expire Dec. 31, 2016. ’¢ Approved a request for a tax refund/relief application from Jeff and Wendy Sawyer after their home burned. The Sawyers will be prorated through the date their home burned. ’¢ Held a public hearing and approved a rezoning request from Kenneth Rogers for a portion of a former railroad right-of-way from no zoning to A-R to join with a similarly zoned parcel to its rear. The parcel is 1.73 acres and has around 960 feet of frontage along the northern side of Highway 18.

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