Posted: Monday, January 14th 2013 at 9:15pm
Oakwood continues push to beautify their roadways
By Marc Eggers Staff
OAKWOOD – The City of Oakwood took another step forward in their efforts to make medians and right-of-ways in their community an attractive asset.
The City Council voted unanimously to allow City Manager Stan Brown to enter into contract negotiations with the Georgia Department of Transportation for the maintenance of all state routes that traverse the south Hall County community.
"There are 8.46 miles of state highways that run through our community, not counting the Interstate," Brown said. "We did not want to get involved in upkeep of the Interstate highway system."
"GDOT is starting to look at…where they can partner with local governments, to basically contract for work, that in a lot of cases, we’re already doing," Brown added.
"We’ve been mowing the public right-of-ways on DOT routes for several years now, picking up the litter, doing the shoulder maintenance. This contract would basically pay us a fee for doing that work."
Mayor Lamar Scroggs interjected, "Now it means we’ll get paid for doing it; that’s a plus in our favor!"
Brown said, "We would be the first local government within this district to have a contract like this."
"I don’t think the traveling public keeps up with whether it’s a state highway or a local route. They just want to see the grass cut, the dead animals picked up…trash picked up," Brown added.
State Routes 53 (Mundy Mill Road) and 13 (Atlanta Highway) comprise the bulk of the 8.46 miles of state routes that the city would contract to maintain. The term of the agreement would be for twelve months, renewal and renegotiable at the end of that period.
This past fall Oakwood used funding from the Georgia Transportation Enhancement grant program to landscape the areas near exits 16 and 17 from Interstate 985.
Brown said he is still waiting for the GDOT to transfer right-of-way control along Thurmond Tanner Parkway (note: not a designated state route) to the city before beginning Oakwood’s planned lighting and landscaping program.
"Hopefully, in the next few weeks we’ll see that road transfer over to the city," Brown said. "Until that’s done we can’t do the lighting we have planned out there."
In other city business, the Council unanimously elected Councilman Ron McFarland as Mayor Pro-Tem for the 2013 calendar year.
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