Newspaper Archive of
The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
May 1, 2019     The Monroe County Reporter
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May 1, 2019

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Page 6C orter May 1, 2019 !By Digne O|idewe|| I ,news@mymcr. net i : Monroe County man- iager I imHedges urged the I members of High Falls I Lake: sociation on April per- the ballot er.: In introduc- grew up in State and then began career in the oil and gas business with Amoco. Hedges moved into the international part of the business and had 13 as- signments and traveled to 61 countries before he tired of flying and re- tired. After eight years as mayor ofAshburn, Ga he became city manager of Pelham, Ga. He found Pel- ham $1.4 million in debt, left it $1.2 million to the good and came to Monroe County. With this personal back- ground, Hedges began to talk about TSPLOST and the condition of roads in Monroe County. He said he had made the TSPLOST presentation to Monroe County commis- sioners in March and was ' now bringing it to High !Falls. : Hedges said he went through 350 county roads iwith Monroe County road ' superintendent Junior iWatts and had him rate !each one from 1 to 4 on its ,condition, with No. 1 be- !ing the worst. He distrib- luted a list of 138 roads in i District 4, which includes :High Falls. George Emami, the commissioner for Dis- He said the cost to County if it is put on the re-surface one mile of a ballot and passed; 13 two-lane road with asphalt Georgia counties have is $125,000. Hedges said passed a county TSPLOST Monroe County has 23.39 so far. Monroe County miles of roads at the No. 1 could put it on a Nov. 5 level needing re-surfacing, ballot. which would be $292 mil- Money collected from lion. Of the roads rated TSPLOST can be used for No. 1, about 12 miles are renovation/improvement, in District 4. construction and acquisi- He said there are two tion of rights-of-way of other options for re- roads, streets, bridges, surfacing that could help sidewalks and bicycle stretch the money further, paths, including resurfac- "Triple surface" is a treat- ing. TSPLOST can be used ment that finishes with a to move utilities, improve thin layer of sand on top of water drainage and patch the road surface and costs and preserve shoulders, $79,000 per miles; there culverts, etc. for roads, is a spay application that streets, bridges, sidewalks costs $30,000 per mile. and bicycle paths. Roads with the heaviest Hedges said Monroe vehicles and most traffic County Public Works need asphalt re-surfacing takes care of 466 miles of while less-used roads county roads, 933 miles might be improved for a of ditches and 31 bridges reasonable amount of time and mows 2,263 acres with one of the less costly of right-of-way with 22 re-surfacing techniques, employees. He said that Hedges said he asked TSPLOST money can commissioners to go be used as the required through the list of roads in match for the state LMIG their districts and pick the (Local Maintenance & roads they felt were most Improvement Grant) in need of re-surfacing funds allotted each year and the type of work they for county roads. Hedges recommend on them by said Monroe County gets May 16. They are to look about $700,000 per year at roads rated No. 2 as from LMIG and matches well as No. 1 and include 30 percent. some of them if they feel Hedges said Monroe the need is pressing. There County commissioners are 14 roads rated No. 2 in all said they want to put District 4, totaling about a county-only TSPLOST another 17 miles, on the November ballot. Roads in District 4 To do so, they will have to rated No. 1 (in alphabetical agree on a project list, have order) are Boxankle Road, an agreement with Forsyth Elbert Jackson Road, and Culloden and approve Ham Road, Hayes Drive, a resolution and send it to Higgins Mill Road, High the Election Superinten- Road, Jeffrey Way, Julie dent by August. Hedges Lane, Lakeshore Drive, noted that commissioners Lakeview Road, Pioneer and county employees, Trail and Talmadge Road. including himself, are Pictured above at the High Falls Lake Association quarterly meeting on April 18 are, left to right, Monroe County Manager Jim Hedges, High Falls State Park Resource Manager Si- erra Herndon, HFLA President Bob Chappell and District 4 Commissioner George Emami. HFLA Treasurer Marilyn Carter welcomes guest speaker Jim Hedges to refreshments after the meeting. (Photos/Diane Glidewell) span of 10 years. "The older it gets, the slower it goes" said Hedges, explaining that the older meters do not charge for all the water used. He said he did not know how long it would take for new meters to pay back the county by charg- hour. Hedges said he has Association, appealed for the Carl Vinson Institute some new people to step coming on May 1 to do up and take over as officers an analysis of all county of the organization. He jobs and recommend a said the current officers pay scale. He said it took six months to get these experts and will cost about $20,000. Hedges said Monroe County's benefit have served for five years or more, and it is time for new leadership and energy. The group notifies mem- bers of anything of interest trict 4 was at the meeting. Hedges had included the prohibited from cam- ing for water more accu- plan for employees is one by email, calling post and i There were 12 roads rated 5.23 miles of Estes Road paigning for the passage of rately since he has no way of the best in the state, notices in the Reporter. It "li and another 14 roads (rated No. 1) in District 4, TSPLOST but are allowed to know exactly how much Hedges said the High is supported by dues from / r ited 2 in District 4. but it is in district 3 near to answer questions, is not being charged. He Falls Fire Station, like sev- members and contribu- The one-cent single eral of the other 13 fire sta- tions from the Harbour county TSPLOST is esti- tions in Monroe County, Shores Homeowners As- mated to raise $17 million needs refurbishing and sociation. for Monroe County over that some of the firefight- Water quality tests at en- ',its five-year duration, ers' equipment is in bad try points and mid-lake on "$17 million in five years shape. He said the county's High Falls Lake are done will make a heck of a dif- three ambulances have to monthly by volunteers :ference;' said Hedges. cover 400 square miles and A1 Crusan, Steve West- serve 28,000 people, fall, John Steinhauer, Lee - Knecht said there is only Therieult, Mike McAtee one emergency siren in the and Ross Carroll. They Heating & A/C, Inc. We Service All Brands of Heating & Air Conditioning Units Serving Monroe County & surrounding Areas for over 40 years Free Estimates Financing A vailable Juliette Rd. Forsylh, GA 478-994-6127 Ga.Reg.CU 401419 Bolingbroke. "What can be done about also said that with "three "Instead of big projects heavy equipment traveling little tie-ins" the county like a $6 million round- over back roads [and caus- could buy water from the about, let's put this money ing damage to the roads] ?" city of Forsyth instead of where it will do the most asked Jan Knecht. from Butts County. He good" said Hedges. "Not much" said Hedges. said Forsyth is upgrading He said he was against "They buy their tags. We its water system and says the regional TSPLOST like can put up signs, but then it would have no problem the one Monroe County we have to enforce:' providing the 75 mil- voters voted against by "Jim, I don't feel like lion gallons per year that 56.6 percent (the larg- we're keeping up. We're Monroe County now buys est negative vote in the taxing our roads by not from the Butts County 11-county region) in May maintaining them;' said Water Authority. He said 2018. He said Monroe Emami. "We know there's the county is looking at County would have been a problem; now we need to how many booster pumps a "donor" county, paying do something." are needed to get the water much more in taxes than it "I have supported up hills. got back in projects. TSPLOST to keep from Asked his opinion on the However, the legislature raising property taxes" county getting a permit has authorized counties said Bud Queen. "Others for the old Camellia Bibb not induded in a regional are paying" Manufacturing water TSPLOST to ask voters for Hedges said that with plant, Hedges said he sees a county-only TSPLOST. 1-75 running through no value in it. "It would All sales taxes collected Monroe County, he take millions to reactivate in the Monroe County estimates 40-60 percent and there are no pipes that TSPLOST would be used of sales tax in Monroego from there into the sys- for projects in Monroe County is paid by non-tern. All doors are welded residents, shut. It's inoperable:' Discussing other county A1 Crusan asked how issues, Hedges said the Monroe County can county is looking at replac- expect to hire enough ing 2,500 water meters that good deputies when it is are beyond their useful life only paying them $14 per ~, ::~::~!" i :/%;,> turn to the experts !),1:~:/ SAVE UPTO 0% OFF 109D Patrol Road 478-994-9911 apply and manage your accotmt online FULL SERVICE COLLISION REPAIR CENTER Locally Owned and Operated, 478-787-8000 northern end of Monroe must be re-certified yearly. County, on Lakeshore Crusan reported that all Drive in High Falls, and tests this quarter have been its sound does not carry good. far enough. Hedges said High Falls Park Ranger the county's new and old Steve Partin said that emergency systems are not although the park low- communicating with each ered the lake this fall, it other right now. He said never went low enough a good wailing siren costs for homeowners to make $40,000 installed and he repairs to docks because of would make a note of the all the rain. He said plans need in the northern part are to try to lower the lake of the county, level again this December Knecht encouraged instead of waiting another everyone to attend Com- year or two. missioners' meetings and Partin introduced new said Hedges did a good job High Falls State Park presenting the budget at resource manager Si- the meeting. Emami said erra Herndon. She is he feels public comment from Bolingbroke and is is an important source of a University of Georgia new ideas at the meetings, graduate. He complimented Hedges Reporting for the Friends on his competence and of High Falls State Park, business sense and said he Bud Queen said the park's has been pleased with his Easter Egg Hunt went work as county manager, well. They decided not to do an evening glow egg In other High Falls Lake hunt this year. He said the Association news: group always welcomes more volunteers. Its next Bob Chappell, presi- big event is a triathlon on dent of High Falls Lake May 18. Full Service Collision Center 40 Years Combined Experience ,Certified Technicians We Work With All Insurance Companies F~EE Estimates/ 177 N. Indian Springs Drive Forsyth, GA Phone: 478-974-0680 Fax: 478-974-0640 t J t