New advisory method could be used soon

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, November 11, 2014

As the temperature continues to drop and weather channels start talking about snow, the county engineer on Monday presented to the Pike County Commission a better working travel advisory system.

Russell Oliver, county engineer, said in the past roads had frequently been called closed, but had not actually been closed for travelers.

“Last year during the ice storm, when the roads get dangerous and treacherous to travel, we tried to send out a notice to tell people and citizens of the county not to travel. But what we used to do in the past was close down roads until we felt they were safe to travel again.”

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Under the new policy, a message would be sent out stating the roads had become “impassable” rather than being called closed.

“They’ve come up with a model policy in a way that affects the county in a better way than what we were doing,” Oliver said. “What they would be doing instead of closing the roads, they would be issuing an impassable travel advisory, which is where you tell the public the roads should be considered impassable until further notice.”

Commission Chairman Homer Wright brought up the situation the county faced in late January 2014 with several days of ice and snow.

“Last time we had that hard freeze, we called all those county roads closed and we just couldn’t say all roads in Pike County were closed,” Wright said. “You almost had to specifically say each road in Pike County that’s impassable. This seems to be able to take care of that.”

Oliver said the county can take advantage of other advisories, as well.

“There is a separate advisory that advises all travel should be suspended or delayed,” Oliver said. “It will say only emergency vehicles should be traveling at that time.”

The Engineering Department also presented to the commission its plan to sell two motor graders in order to purchase two new ones. The department had two machines evaluated, and an auctioning company in Montgomery has guaranteed more money than the department had been anticipating.

“We are selling two and buying two others,” Oliver said. “The two that we want to sell are the 0603 and 0602 models. We’re going ahead and requesting approval to mark this item as being surplus. We’ve also worked out on an arrangement to sell it. We were expecting $100,000 a piece for these machines.”

The commissioners honored the engineering departments request, and the department plans to take these machines to auction. The auctioning company would receive a 7 percent commission off of the sale of the piece of equipment.

“We have been given a financial agreement for $120,000 for that machine,” Oliver said. “If we go with that, we would roughly get $112,000. Of course, if it’s more than that $120,000 will get that 93 percent after their commission.”

One of the pieces of equipment has a transmission that needs to be repaired. The commission discussed the option of accepting continuous bidding for the piece of equipment and if an offer does not meet the commission’s needs, the commission may deny the request.

“If you don’t like the requests, you can reject them all,” Oliver said.

In other items of business:

The commission elected Commissioner Joey Jackson, District 6, as vice-chairman for the County Commission.

The commission approved the renaming of what was formerly known as “Old County Road 6,” which crosses County Roads 2276, 2290 and 2262 to the Crenshaw County line, to “Rex Locklar Road.”