The True Citizen
P.O.Box 948
Waynesboro, GA
30830
(706) 554-2111

More News ...

04/09/03

Any Work On Burke Private Roads Banned, Memorandum Says

By Jimmy Ezzell
True Citizen Editor
Maintenance on private roads in Burke County will no longer be done unless a majority of the commission votes to do it. A memorandum was issued April 3 by county administrator Merv Waldrop, to Jesse Burke, the county’s director of roads and bridges, saying the roads department “is not to maintain any private road in the county.”

The memo said, “This means that county equipment will not perform work on private property unless specifically authorized by a majority vote of the County Commission.”
Waldrop said, “The intent of this order is not to place a hardship on anyone living on a private road or to create problems for the roads department, but to protect the county and our employees from personal liability.”

Waldrop added in the memo, “It has become apparent that we cannot legally work a road that is not in the county road system. I will not ask any employee to perform work outside the legal authority or that will put them or their families at risk of financial loss.”
Waldrop’s memo to Burke came after the commission, meeting in special session Wednesday, April 2, agreed unanimously to uphold a planning commission decision rejecting a proposed subdivision plat because the roads listed are private roads.
Under the County Land Development Code, adopted more than nine years ago, subdivision plats are not approved unless the developer agrees to pave the roads.

In this case, the developer, Franklin Askin Jr. of Augusta, appealed the planner’s decision to the county commission. At its meeting last month the commission took no action on the appeal, in effect upholding the planning commission. At that time Askin indicated that he would go to court to overturn the planning commission.

On March 26, an attorney representing Askin met with the county commission’s roads committee in an effort to reach a compromise on the matter.
The committee said they wanted the full commission to discuss the issue and make a decision … thus last week’s special meeting.

Askin has argued that the three roads in his proposed subdivision are county roads and public, because of the county’s “ongoing and previous maintenance of them.” He also contends the general public including school buses use these roads along with the EMA and police.

Waynesboro Council Awards Contract
For Roadways, Drainage
At their regular meeting on Monday, April 7, the Waynes-boro City Council awarded the construction contract for the $500,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) the city received for the year 2002.
Beam’s Pavement Maintenance Company, Inc., of Beech Island, S.C., was awarded the contract with a low bid of $343,053.87. The project is for roadway and drainage improvements in the area north of 6th Street, around Holly Drive, Gilstrap Avenue and west of Jones Avenue. Streets in these areas will be re-paved with gutters, drains and sidewalks where applicable. The project will cost the city of Waynesboro around $30,000 in actual shared funding and in-kind matches of labor and materials.

G. Ben Turnipseed Engineers, of Augusta, who oversees the CDBG grant project, recommended to council that Beam’s be awarded the contract out of eight companies that supplied bids. Council approved the recommendation by a unanimous vote of 6-0. Council members also approved the first readings of new sign and subdivision ordinances. The sign ordinance would set restrictions on size as well as prohibit certain types of signs for businesses, especially those that might detract from Waynes-boro’s downtown and historic districts.
The subdivision ordinance is to update the city’s current ordinance that has not been changed since 1976. The new ordinance is updated to current construction standards with specific details pertaining to subdivision construction requirements for developments within the city limits. Both ordinances passed by a vote of 6-0.
The city was also to approve the second reading of three charter amendments, however, council was not able to do that because of a mistake made by The True Citizen. Three consecutive advertisements explaining the amendments must be printed in a county’s legal organ between the first and second readings of the ordinance. The True Citizen failed to run the correct ad on the third week. City administrator Jerry Coalson explained to council that the process would have to start over and that Monday’s reading would be considered the first. This also was approved by a vote of 6-0.

Council also approved a resolution allowing the city to borrow funds for operating costs in lieu of 2003 taxes to be collected in December. The city can borrow up to 75 percent of their estimated collectable taxes.
Coalson told council members he estimated the city would need to borrow up to $400,000 for 2003. The city borrowed $500,000 in 2002. The resolution was approved 6-0. Gladys Johnson was re-appointed by a vote of 6-0 as a city representative to the Waynes-boro-Burke County Recreation Commission for another five-year term.
Coalson also told the council that the city had begun doubling its spraying for mosquitoes to combat the recent surge in mosquito populations due to heavy rainfall. Coalson encouraged council members and city residents to alert city hall of standing water in the city, where the insects might breed.

A Long Way To Go
Melissa Redd, team recruitment/activities chair for Burke County’s 2003 Relay For Life, paints in the total board to show progress in this year’s fund-raising. Redd says Relay For Life has received $22,000 so far, and has $35,000 in pledges.

Burke County’s goal for 2003 is $111,000. Redd says they will be updating the board, located in the park at the corner of Liberty and 6th streets, every Friday at 9 a.m. and encourages those involved with the relay to come by and show their support.
Legal Organ of Burke County, Waynesboro, Sardis, Midville, Keysville, and Girard