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File Photo: Terry Richards | The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA – Transportation dominated the Lowndes County Commission meeting this week with two roadway projects and two Georgia Department of Transportation agreements.

County Commission approved the Old U.S. 41 widening project, which is listed as one of Lowndes County’s projects and is a part of the Transportation Investment Act.

The Scruggs Company's $4,931,029.15 bid was approved, which was $1,683,769.66 less than the bid by Reames and Son Construction.

Also approved was a change order for the project that includes milling out two inches of existing asphalt from Dasher Grove Road to Tillman Crossing.

The section will be repaved, according to information provided by the county, with 220 pounds of 12.5 millimeter superpave, new stripings and signs.

The goal is to make the entire section of Old U.S. 41 look uniform from North Valdosta Road to Union Road.

County Commission approved the turn-lane project for Cat Creek Road and River Road.

Mike Fletcher, county engineering department head, said this project came about as staff has met with Lowwndes County Sheriff’s Office and county school board officials about traffic issues near that area.

“What we found out is that the majority of the issues are coming by just a few left turn movements,” Fletcher said. “We’re going to add a right turn on River Road on to Cat Creek (Road).”

The low bid for this came from the Scruggs Company at $58,673.47, which is $1,276.53 less than the bid given by Reames and Son Construction.

Fletcher said the project start date is June 1 and the Scruggs Company can do it in 10 days. The contract will be for 30 days, however.

“They’ve got to be done before school starts,” he said.

A Georgia Department of Transportation standard utility agreement for Lake Park Bellville Road was approved. GDOT project 0013987, which involves the widening of Lake Park Bellville Road, requires utilities to be relocated.

The contract agreement between GDOT and Lowndes will determine what each entity pays for utility relocation, according to county information.

The total estimated cost of the project is $1,839,805 but Lowndes will only pay for $1,669,478.88. GDOT is expected to start the project in June.

The second GDOT agreement is for Exit 11 and involves project 0010297 which aims to improve Interstate 75 Exit 11’s ramps. County utilities in the area must be relocated.

The agreement determines which entity pays relocation. Lowndes is responsible for paying the full estimated cost, $172,637.

An extraterritorial extension of water service was approved for Hahira as the city prepares to provide water service to a new apartment complex property.

The property owner of the complex wanted Hahira to provide service which it couldn’t serve without the county’s approval.

The property itself resides in an unincorporated area in Lowndes’ water and sewer service areas, and the property adjoins the city limits of Hahira and its water and sewer service areas.

A borrow pit agreement was approved as the public works department needs a borrow pit for suitable soils to be used for road build up and other construction projects, according to the agenda.

A parcel of land, 10 acres, in Naylor near Lake Alapaha carries the specific soil needed and multiple tests were performed to make sure that was the case.

An agreement was struck between Lowndes and Larry and Christine Sanders for the parcel’s use for up to 12 years. Fletcher said the last two years will be for restitution while closing out the agreement.

Public works is getting a new loader, the “only resource the county has for cleaning up debris other than by hand,” according to county information.

During the last few storms, the current 23-year-old loader was down on a daily basis. Performance Peterbilt’s bid for a new 2022 Peterbilt 365 loader was approved at $314,776.

It’s slated to be delivered in January 2022.

Two rezonings were approved. Approximately 9.65 acres between 6250 and 6258 Chancy Drive are being rezoned from Estate Agricultural zoning (E-A) to Residential Agricultural zoning (R-A) to divide the property.

The division of property will create at least one parcel less than five acres, the minimum for E-A zoning and thus R-A zoning is needed to not create non-conforming lots, according to county information.

Approximately 25.5 acres at 4081 Mt. Zion Church Road is being rezoned from Low Density Residential (R-1) to Medium Density Residential (R-21) for a new subdivision development.

All county buildings will receive coffee service again this year for an annual cost of $13,000. Lowndes has the option to automatically renew it for two additional one-year terms, too.

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