More roads to be paved under 24-month plan

Published 9:38 pm Monday, April 8, 2019

The next set of roads set to be repaved under the 24-month plan will begin this summer.

County engineer Russell Oliver asked the commission to approve the advertisement of bids at its next meeting so that work could begin by June.

Oliver said two roads will be repaved in this round of bids, County Road 2219 east of County Road 2201 and County Road 2253 from County Road 2276 to Warrick Creek.

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Oliver said bidding the contracts out sooner should allow the resurfacing to be finished before the fall.

“That will give us time so that we’re not almost through and then have to postpone until next spring,” Oliver said. “We’re timing it to do what we need to do in preparation for the projects so all of it can be done prior to the fall.”

Last year, the final touches had to be suspended on the roads due to seasonal limitations. The remaining work, “chip sealing” the roads and striping them, will resume this month, Oliver said.

Interim EMA Director Herb Reeves announced the groundbreaking ceremony for a new Meeksville storm shelter that has been in works in the county for more than two years. The groundbreaking will be held April 26 at 9 a.m. at the site of the new shelter next to the Meeksville Volunteer Fire Department.

The commission also approved for the funds to build the shelter to be taken from the lodging tax fund until the grant for the project can be obtained to reimburse the funds.

Reeves also proposed the hire of a graduate assistant for the EMA office that would be given a stipend of $7,500 a year, paid $2,500 each semester.

Camille Downing, director of the Pike Regional Child Advocacy Center, updated the commission on the center’s work through the first quarter as part of Child Abuse Awareness Month.

Downing said the center has handled 33 child abuse cases in the first three months, all cases of sexual abuse. The center’s child prevention program SCAN (Stop Child Abuse and Neglect) was presented to 1,854 children in the first three months of the year.

“We’ve gotten a lot of reports from students that have been serviced proving this program successful,” Downing old the commission. “We want to get to the kids and students and provide them with information that could prevent them having to come to us.”

The center serves four counties – Pike, Bullock, Barbour and Coffee – as well as services to Crenshaw and Butler counties as needed.

Downing also invited the commissioners and public to the center’s open house, which is planned for Tuesday, April 16, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The commission met in executive session following the meeting to discuss issues involving real estate negotiations, personal name and character, safety and security and pending litigation.

During the executive session, consulting firm TCU Consulting Services revealed its evaluations of four different possible sites for a new Pike County Jail, including Dunbar Drive and the county’s property at the Road Department. Consultant Ken Upchurch said the evaluations were discussed in executive session because it dealt with matters of real estate negotiations.

Although two of the jail sites remain confidential, Upchurch said the commission could reveal a site to get more public feedback before making a decision.

The commission voted to move its April 22 meeting, which falls on Earth Day as well as the Monday following Easter.

The commission will meet instead on Tuesday, April 23, upstairs at the Pike County Health Department. The work session will begin at 5:15 p.m. and the business meeting will follow at 6 p.m.