Bulloch County commissioners are ready to move forward with road improvements, but issues regarding rights-of-way, funding for projects and procuring the right kind of dirt must be addressed first, Bulloch County Manager Tom Couch during a roads workshop this week.
The costs of resurfacing and paving roads have more than doubled over the past several years. Projected revenues from tax collections won’t cover all the projects needed in Bulloch County, he said.
However, commissioners reviewed several roads on the list to be paved, and county staff attorney Jeff Akins said Tuesday at the workshop that he is working on legal work regarding deeds for property where several roads are slated for paving.
Currently, the only road being paved at this time is Horace Mitchell Road, and it is 60 percent complete, Couch said. Other roads next on the list include Clark Farm Road and Miller Street Extension.
One of the biggest needs right now is a supply of the “right kind of dirt,” as well as equipment, said roads superintendent Dink Butler.
“Weather has been rough” on the county’s dirt roads, and Bulloch County seeks a “borrow pit” with the right types of soil needed. Dirt roads should be of a proper mix of clay and sand, Butler said.
Right-of-way arguments have hindered road paving in the past, and several roads in the county are in limbo while landowners discuss whether to sign over a portion of their land needed for the paving. Not everyone wants to give up land for road paving.
“We’re finding more and more people who don’t want their road paved,” Couch said.
Commissioner Roy Thompson suggested paving roads next on the list that have all property owners in agreement. Couch said almost a dozen roads are being held up for paving by right-of-way issues.
Commissioner Carolyn Ethridge said it is up to property owners wanting roads paved to secure right-of-way permission from all property owners along the road.
“It’s their job to get them to us,” she said.
Commissioner Robert Rushing said finding a suitable borrow pit with adequate soil will solve a good deal of road complaints by providing proper dirt and sand with which to do repairs.
Commissioners agreed during the workshop to continue seeking a suitable borrow pit site and to move forward with road improvements on roads that have been on the “to do” list the longest, and which have all property owners in agreement with the roads being paved.
Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.