Department to buy new equipment

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The County Engineering Department garnered most of the attention during Monday’s County Commission meeting.

Over the last few months, the County Commission as well as, Russell Oliver, County Engineer, has discussed the option of auctioning off one of the motor graders for the department as well as selling the other motor grader the department currently has and purchasing two new ones.

Oliver said the motor graders would be beneficial for the department and the county since the graders would have less working-hours on them.

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The commission also held a public hearing for the vacating of County Road 2200. No citizens showed up for the meeting, but Oliver was not surprised since part of the road had been vacated and the other parcel of land was in a majority privately owned.

“We were spending tax money, tax payer’s money to maintain this short dead0end county road that really was nothing more than a driveway, for one property owner,” Oliver said. “The property owner did not want it to be a public road. Vacating the road also benefits the citizens and tax payers of the county.”

Oliver had recently put a proposal in front of the commissioners to create a better way to advise Pike County citizens when roads were unsafe to travel during extreme or severe weather situations, and Monday the new method was officially approved.

Oliver said the new advisory method would help provide a more convenient way of notifications.

“Whenever we have a severe weather event and the roads are affected so they are not safe for travel, we need some way to properly notify the public or to advise them or warn them that travel should be limited or restricted,” Oliver said. “The County Commission has never had a written policy governing how they do that.”

While the way the advisories will be done has changed the way citizens will stay informed has not, Oliver said. According to Oliver, citizens will still need to rely on local media outlets as well as the Pike County Emergency Management Agency and the County Commission to send out alerts regarding road conditions.

The state mandated their workers be off Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and the day after Christmas, as well. The County Commission voted and approved a compromise for workers to have to work a half-day on Christmas Eve and have a full day off for both Christmas and the day after.

The 12th Judicial Drug Task Force also received a $51,006.57 grant from the state.

The County Commissioners finished out their meeting with closing comments wishing the citizens of Pike County a happy thanksgiving and safe travels to anyone within the county who will be traveling.

Next scheduled meeting Monday, Dec. 6 with the work session beginning at 5:15 and the commission meeting following shortly after at 6 p.m. County commission meetings are held on the second floor of the Pike County Health Department.