VALDOSTA — The county approved bids to replace two Hickory Grove Road bridges for $2.6 million.

Bridges over Mud Swamp Creek and Grand Bay Creek will be replaced as part of a Georgia Department of Transportation project. The Lowndes County Commission approved the bid from Southern Concrete Construction.

The Mud Swamp Creek bridge will be 260 feet long and 30 feet wide, and the Grand Bay Creek bridge will be 300 feet long and 30 feet wide.

The commission also approved a bid to pave Howell Lane and a portion of Lester Road. The Scruggs Company was awarded the bid valued at about $850,000. It will be responsible for clearing, grading, drainage, limerock base and asphalt paving.

Howell Lane runs between Mt. Zion Church Road and Knight Academy Road, and the portion of Lester Road runs between Copeland Road and Inner Perimeter Road.

Most of the project will be paid for through the Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant, which will pay $750,000 for the paving. SPLOST will pay the remaining costs.

The last bid awarded during the meeting was to Doyle Hancock and Son Construction valued at $1.5 million for improvements to the Bevel Creek, Francis Lake and Coleman Road lift stations.

Lift stations are used to move wastewater from lower to higher elevation, particularly where the elevation of the source is not sufficient for gravity flow and/or when the use of gravity conveyance will result in excessive excavation depths and high sewer construction costs, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

During the meeting, the commission approved the application for a hazard mitigation grant, valued at $1,568,020.

The Georgia Emergency Management Agency recently released guidance that made hazard mitigation funding available to nursing homes for the purpose of installing transfer switches and/or emergency backup generators on their facilities.

County documents stated not-for-profit nursing homes are eligible to apply directly with GEMA, whereas for-profit facilities must submit applications through the local Emergency Management Agency.

Lowndes County must serve as the applicant agent for all five of the long-term care facilities since they are all for profit, documents stated. All costs will be paid back to the county by GEMA and Pruitt Health.

The commission approved a just compensation for 0.05 acres of land on Howell Lane. The land was appraised at $1,489, and the owner was awarded that amount.

The county approved the annual mosquito identification and testing contract of $45,790. The data collected helps Lowndes control mosquito populations.

Randall Crews was reappointed to the Lowndes County Construction Board of Adjustments and Appeals.

Thomas Lynn is a government and education reporter for The Valdosta Daily Times. He can be reached at (229)244-3400 ext. 1256

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