City Council hears Road complaints and honors High Schoolers

Published 8:03 am Wednesday, April 24, 2024

The Americus City Council met on April 18 th . Commissioner Jessie Smith addressed the council during citizens comments with concerns about gun fire and road resurfacing. Smith mentioned he lived in the subdivision consisting of Bronco and Falcon drive. “I’ve been there 29 years, and since that time the streets have been deteriorating. I have brought it to my council person, council member Brown, and he done all I guess he could do six or seven years ago. I have also been on a zoom call, and spoke with you, Mayor, I think it was a couple of years ago.” He mentioned never getting a response.

Smith mentioned he had been there since 1995, but had never seen asphalt put on the street. Council member Daryl Dowdell questioned Smith about what answers he was given when he met with City employees and officials. Smith responded. “Mr. Brown, he said he had to put the streets on a list, and he did, and that was as far as he could really go with it at the time. Miss Powell, she brought it to my attention that you have to be within the top ten category, and our street didn’t make the top ten.” He mentioned he was told that someone rode the streets to look for the ten most in need for repair.

City Manager Diadra Powell responded. “The unfortunate part is that there is more resurfacing [needed] than there is money.”

Smith mentioned the cracks were so bad he had to use a weed eater to cut the grass growing in the road. Brown stated that Falcon Drive and Bronco were on a list of streets that need resurfacing. Smith responded: “We’ve been on a list a long time.”

Public works director David Wooden addressed the list after questions from Brown. “This particular list here was approved back in September of 2023, so this was approved prior to me arriving at public works.”

Dowdell addressed the list, mentioning he had asked who had originally picked out the streets: “It wasn’t mayor and council that I was told picked it. It was the superintendant that picked out these streets. The list that I got, a number of these streets, ain’t no way it was picked out equally.”

Diadra Powell addressed the list. “The next public works director, that is one of the conversations we need to have. We need to be more consistent.”

Smith also addressed gun violence, citing a personal experience with gun fire. “Whoever it was shooting back there, it sounded like it was in my back door.” He mentioned hitting the floor. “I have strong concerns, what are we doing about that?”

Mayor Lee Kinnamon responded mentioning plans to combat violence. “They are too numerous
to go over in this meeting.”

Afterward Kinnamon honored the students who organized the Violence Prevention Youth Summit which was facilitated by OneSumter, reading a commendation. He mentioned that students from all three high schools were involved. He thanked OneSumter, Chief Scott, Sherriff Bryant, and school staff for supporting the students in their efforts.

Former City Council Member Juanita Wilson also addressed the Board. “I am concerned about a vote that was taken to purchase land on the Bumphead road for a private contractor to build houses.” She noted three schools on the road and significant traffic. She also mentioned funding issues. “The funds, $100,000 to purchase this property, was not included in the year’s annual budget. What is the funding source for these funds? Also, what additional funds will be required of the City to put in an infrastructure improvements for the proposed subdivision, and what will
be the funding source for those improvements?”

The council also passed a resolution denying any gates at Southland Ridge. Kinnamon addressed the council: “It is in direct conflict with State law.” The council had previously heard complaints from citizens in the neighborhood would were charged toll.