Engineer: #036;18 million needed

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 24, 2000

to fix county roads


Staff Writer

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Oct. 23, 2000 10 PM

Pike County may receive more than $6 million with the passage of Amendment 1, but that’s nowhere near the amount it’s going to take to replace bridges and resurface roads.

Monday night, Pike County Engineer Herb Huner told the Pike County Commission a total of $18 million is needed to do all the necessary work.

"While it’s a lot of money, it’s still only a drop in the bucket," Huner said of the money that will flow into Pike County if the amendment to the Constitution of 1901 passes statewide.

When Huner did a needs accessment in November 1999, he discovered 126.5 miles of roadway hasn’t been resurfaced in the last 20 years to the tune of $6.69 million. More than 25 miles haven’t been resurfaced in 15 years which will cost more than $1.3 million.

In addition to all those miles of roadway, 48 of the county’s bridges are restricted for school bus crossing and 85 of the county’s 182 bridges on inventory have a sufficiency rating below 50. All that will cost an estimated $12 million to replace.

However, the county has made a bit of a dent in the problem by borrowing $1.3 million and spending some federal aid dollars to cut that by about $2 million.

In other business, the commission:

· Went into executive session on request by District Attorney Mark Fuller to discuss funding for an investigator.

After returning to the commission’s meeting room, approval was given to spend $15,000 for an investigator who will be hired pending approval by Coffee County. The commission voted to spend a total of $30,000 on this matter.

County Administrator Steve Hicks said "confidential matters" were discussed during the meeting behind closed doors.

· Accepted bids for uniforms at a cost of $5 per week from Unifirst Corp., which currently has the county contract at a cost of $5.50 per week. That is a three-year contract.

· Adopted a project agreement for a bridge culvert on County Road 25 at Lynn Mill Creek and to resurface County Road 21 from Henderson, north to County Road 40. The culvert project will cost an estimated $247,000 with 80 percent of that funding from federal aid. The resurfacing project will cost approximately $7,000, which will be paid for through federal funding. Both projects are in the November letting.

· Voted to take bids for two Sheriff’s Department vehicles and two vehicles for the 12th Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force. All four were approved in the budget.

· Passed resolutions in support for Amendments 1 and 2.

· Voted to take bids on a courthouse telephone system/computer networking lines.

· Tabled final decision on whether or not to close the courthouse at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 22 for the Thanksgiving holiday. The Pike County Courthouse will be closed Nov. 17 and 20 because offices will be moving to the former Wal-Mart building in the Marketplace Shopping Center while the courthouse undergoes renovations.

· Set the commission’s next meeting for noon on Tuesday, Nov. 14. Under the law, the commission can not meet within seven days of the Nov. 7 election, meaning they can’t meet on Nov. 13. The commissioners will be sworn in at that time.

· Heard a report on E-911 from Norvell Ward who said they board is in the process of hiring a director and will conduct interviews in the next week or two. He also said the mapping company will be in Pike County in November.

· Approved travel to the ACCA 2000 Legislative Conference Dec. 6-7; Public Employees Safety Conference Nov. 15 and ACCMA Winter Conference 2000 Nov.1-3.

· Signed a proclamation declaring Farm/City Week in Pike County. The week will be celebrated Nov. 17-23.