Sumter County Board of Commissioners approves two public works projects with funding from SPLOST, TSPLOST and LMIG funds

Published 4:14 pm Thursday, February 17, 2022

AMERICUS – At its regular meeting at the Sumter County Courthouse on Tuesday, February 15, the Sumter County Board of Commissioners (BOC) approved two public works projects to be done, with the money for these projects coming from SPLOST, TSPLOST and LMIG (Local Maintenance & Improvement Grant) funds. The meeting was not open to the public due to concerns over COVID-19 and was streamed live via Zoom.

One of these public works projects that was approved by the BOC was the Sumter County 2022 SPLOST/TSPLOST/LMIG Paving Project. Sumter County Department of Public Works Director Jim Littlefield told the BOC that he wanted to get a head start on the bidding and awarding process for the project. “We received four bids last Friday, so we were pleased with that number,” Littlefield told the BOC. He went on to say that the bidding between these four paving companies was pretty close in range, with the low end coming in at $400,000. According to Littlefield, Robinson Paving Company turned in the lowest priced bid and Scruggs Paving Company turned in the second lowest bid, followed by Reeves Construction and Griffin Grading and Concrete. Of the four companies, Littlefield recommended to the BOC that the bid to do the paving project should be awarded to Robinson Paving Company. “They have performed projects in Sumter County as recently as the year before last,” Littlefield told the BOC. He added that Robinson is currently doing paving work out on US Hwy 280 going towards Plains. Littlefield added that the project might start and be completed anytime between April and August of this year and that the 2021 Paving Project is just now finishing up.

Littlefield went on to say that the asphalt costs from Robinson are actually lower than what the Department of Public Works received a year ago, which was a pleasant surprise to him. To sum it up, Littlefield recommended to the BOC that the paving project be awarded to Robinson Paving Company. Board Chairman Mark Waddell entertained a motion to approve the awarding of the Sumter County 2022 SPLOST/TSPLOST/LMIG Paving Project to Robinson Paving Company for the total cost of $2,259,672.25 to do the project. Commissioner Scott Roberson made a motion for approval and Commissioner Jesse Smith seconded the motion. The BOC voted and the approval passed unanimously.

The other public works project that the BOC unanimously approved was the replacement of two deteriorating 72-inch corrugated metal pipes on Leslie-Lamar Road. The funds for this project are to come from TSPLOST and Johnson Construction was awarded the bid to do the project. According to Littlefield, it came down to either Johnson Construction or Griffin Grading and Concrete, but Littlefield recommended Johnson to do the job of removing these two pipes on Leslie-Lamar Road and replacing them with two new 72-inch corrugated metal pipes that are “flared in”.

Littlefield added that the road would have to be closed for at least a week while this project is going on and that barricades would need to be placed in each direction and advertisements would need to be run to let people know about the road closure.

Littlefield also asked the BOC for an allowance of up to $3,000 because the new pipes would need to be “flared” to handle the amount of water coming in and out.

Waddell then entertained a motion to award the bid to Johnson Construction Company to replace the two 72-inch corrugated metal pipes on Leslie-Lamar Road, with the funds for the project to come from TSPLOST. The total cost to do the project is $56,985 and there will be an allowance of up to $3,000 to replace the old existing pipes with new “flared in” pipes. Commissioner Roberson made a motion for approval and Commissioner Smith seconded the motion. The BOC voted and the approval passed unanimously.

There was also discussion amongst the Commissioners concerning the placing of a tower near the local office of the Georgia State Patrol (GSP). This was something that was discussed at the BOC’s Work Session on Tuesday, February 8. It’s the BOC’s desire to have the tower placed near the office and the Ag center, but further away from US Highway 19. Sumter County Sheriff Eric Bryant expressed to the BOC the need for the tower by telling the Commissioners that he had a very productive meeting with the Georgia State Patrol’s communications division. Bryant went on to say that this tower would be a critical piece of infrastructure to continue connecting the GSP troopers to their radio room here in Americus. “The Americus Radio Room actually operates in radio traffic for state troopers from Sumter County all the way down to the Georgia/Florida line and this particular tower would be most beneficial and necessary in order for them to have effective communication between the two,” Bryant told the BOC. However, in order to place the tower where the BOC and Sheriff Bryant want it to be, there is an ordinance that has to be dealt with and if the ordinance is not repealed, then all of its requirements must be followed, which is what County Attorney Kimberly Reid told the BOC.

County Administrator Rayetta Volley also told the BOC that an exact location for the tower has not been decided on yet and that Department of Public Works Director Jim Littlefield will be meeting with the GSP on Monday, February 21, to determine the tower’s location. No approval was made by the BOC to repeal the ordinance regarding the tower, but this issue is likely to be brought up and resolved at the BOC’s Work Session in March.

The BOC also had the second of two public hearings regarding a request from Allen Marks to rezone property known as Parcel Number 2709-62-5 from Single Family Residential (R-1) to Mixed Use, Single Family Residential (R-2) to coincide with adjoining properties for the purpose of placing a manufactured home. This property is located on US Highway 19 North. The first public hearing on this matter was held at the BOC’s Work Session two weeks ago. Waddell asked Heather Tyler of the Sumter County Planning and Zoning Board if there has been any feedback from citizens living in the area and she replied that there has been no feedback for or against Marks’s request. The BOC decided to go ahead with the approval of the request. Commissioner Roberson made a motion for approval and Commissioner Smith seconded the motion. The BOC voted and the approval passed unanimously.

 

Near the end of the meeting, Rayetta Volley asked the BOC when it plans to re-open the meeting to the public because the COVID-19 numbers in the county are going down. She went on to say that she was told by Sumter County EMA Director Nigel Poole that the Americus City Council is discussing the possibility of opening its meetings to the public in April. “If y’all want to think about that, we can discuss it next month as to when we want to look at opening ours back up,” Volley told the BOC.