August 4, 2007
Plans to go into Road Paving Business
On more than
one occasion the Commissioners have talked about buying
$500,000 of road paving equipment. The first time
the subject was discussed those that spoke to the Commissioners,
from a former commissioner to every day citizens, spoke
against buying paving equipment and against doing the work
“in-house.” TWG wonders why the BOC would proceed
without asking for a cost analysis. It appears
that the BOC wants to spend money on paving equipment so
it “looks like something is being done” about our county
is needed is an independent cost estimate. This
would determine how much paving a road would cost the county
versus the cost to bid it out to someone that does that
type of work. An outside contractor would have bonding.
Bonding would make sure of performance, as well as correctly
constructed, paved, and/or patched roads.
BOC hired an engineer last month, but before he’s
on board and able to analyze personnel and road needs and
the entire road maintenance and/or paving process, the BOC
is jumping the gun and is ready to accept bids on
the following equipment:
1. One 2008
Bituminous Asphalt Distributor & Truck Chassis
2. One 2008 Hydrostatic Drive Self-propelled Chip Spreader
3. One 2008 Vibratory Asphalt Compactor
Bids were to
be opened, Friday, August 3, and the Commissioners will
vote on accepting the bids or not, Monday, August
6 at their 9AM meeting.
Larry Thurman, Public Works Director, informed the BOC at
budget hearings that he had a full staff and could do the
job of paving county roads. However, he had only
asked for new equipment ($75,000 worth) to do the day to
day jobs the PWD is trying to do. All the equipment
the county has is worn out according to Thurman.
TWG questions the county's system for determining
road maintenance—how it is done and when it is done? TWG
also questions the expertise of those in charge. Examples:
Dr. - see pictures: http://www.taxdogs.com/liberty.htm
New pictures were taken recently and some parts
of this road have been patched at least 3 times.
The road is cracking where it hasn’t already been patched
and sinking in places. Mr. Thurman recommended a year ago
that this road be brought into the County road system for
taxpayers to maintain. After comments and pictures from
TWG and others that has not happened to date.
Rd. - see pictures: http://www.taxdogs.com/road042107.htm
TWG has found documents showing that in August 2002,
the BOC voted to close Hayes Rd. Yet, recently,
the PWD graded and graveled Hayes Rd. TWG asked for information
through open records about the time, manpower, and materials
that were used on this road that no one lives
on. Mr. Thurman responded in writing that 3 loads of gravel
were used on this 2.4 mile long road. Something
is very wrong and unusual about that response. On this 2.4
mile long road, the entire length has a nice thickness of
gravel supplied by the County taxpayers. According
to others in the business of hauling and spreading gravel,
2.4 miles with the amount of gravel used on Hayes Rd. would
have taken 15-20 loads of gravel. Could Mr.
Thurman just be mistaken or is there a more serious problem
Potholes and Patching - see pictures:
TWG has received complaints from residents that have had
potholes “fixed.” Within 3 months the “fix” has washed out
or worn away. The patching on county roads doesn’t hold
up much better. These pictures of Hodges Farm Rd. is a prime
example. The County continues to patch and patch and patch
this road. If it can’t be patched right, what
makes the BOC believe it can be paved correctly?
urges the BOC not to accept bids and purchase paving equipment
until the new engineer (at a cost of $500,000 over 4 years)
has time to evaluate the system.
Wasting money and spending money before all the facts are
gathered is a terrible policy that should be changed. Now
is a good time to start.
** To keep the taxpayers of Jasper County, Georgia informed
as to where and how
their tax dollars are being spent.
** To keep the taxpayers abreast of local policies and
discussed and enacted.
** We advocate more open government, less government spending,
and lower property taxes.