County submits three bridge projects for state funding


Bob Calvert

Bob Calvert


Harry Sanders

Harry Sanders



Slim Smith



Lowndes County supervisors are prepared to submit three projects to the state for funding under the Legislature's Emergency Roads and Bridges program, which was approved in the August special legislative session. 


During Monday's supervisors meeting, the board accepted the recommendation of County Engineer Bob Calvert to submit $3.2 million in county road/bridge projects to be paid from the $250 million fund. 


Calvert said under the program, counties and municipalities are required to prioritize the projects they would like to have funded if there is more than one submitted. 


"What they do is assign points for each project in a variety of categories," Calvert said. "The highest priority is projects that include bridge work, which all three of these projects have. But there are a whole list of categories that have points, so the projects that stand the best chance of being funded meet a lot of those priorities." 


Calvert listed the three county projects in the order he determined are most likely to be approved -- Wolfe Road ($900,000 project), East Lindsey Ferry Road ($380,000) and Canal Road ($2 million). 


"Wolfe Road probably is the strongest project because it has the highest traffic, 3,000 cars per day, and because it's ready to go to bid," he said. 


Calvert also recommended the county match 10 percent of the funds, although it is not stipulated in the program requirements. 


"If we put a little extra match in there, it might help," Calvert said. "... I don't know if (10 percent is) the right number, but I do believe it would be significant." 


Board President Harry Sanders said that while no money is earmarked for the matching funds, the county should find the money. 


"If we're only having to pay 10 percent, that's a pretty good deal," he said. 


Supervisors voted unanimously to submit the projects with a 10-percent match. 


In other business, County Administrator Ralph Billingsley told the board there were six applicants for the county prosecutor position, which became open when Alison Kizer was elected to county judge. 


The application deadline was Nov. 30. The six applicants are Will Cooper, Chuck Easley, Hal McClanahan, Corky Smith, William Starks and Steve Wallace. Supervisors will appoint someone at the their Dec. 17 meeting. The person they select will fill out the remainder of the current term that expires on Dec. 31, 2019. 


Supervisors also approved commissioning environmental studies at the site of the county's planned sports complex.


Slim Smith is a columnist and feature writer for The Dispatch. His email address is [email protected]



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