County#039;s road projects close to completion

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Butler County roads are seeing steady improvement.

However, there is still a lot of work to be done.

Butler County Engineer Dennis McCall gave an extended report on the current and future projects the county hopes to undertake.

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McCall had good news on the Industrial Access Project.

"Our Industrial Access Project is approximately a third completed," said McCall. "It is on schedule as of now. We had some delays with the weather, but it is still on schedule."

The projects completion is anticipated to be any- where from early to mid August.

The project was part of a plan to create a turn lane from Hwy. 31 and an entrance into the Industrial Park in Georgiana.

The people of Forest Home also received good news.

Problems with bridges in the area had caused a great deal of transportation problems.

McCall said soon the problems would be resolved.

"We had an emergency closing in Forest Home," said McCall. "We made some adjustments to our schedule and that will likely be our last project."

The many road and bridge repairs were part of a five-year improvement plan.

The plan is nearing its final year and McCall and the rest of the Commission hope to put in a similar plan for the next five years.

The first step in creating a new future plan is grant applications.

McCall has already started this process and is already awaiting word on grant money.

"The CDBG grant application we put in is still in the air," said McCall. "We had hoped to have some information on that for this meeting. We do not at this time, but we should have some information this week."

As for the future, there is still a lot to be done.

Currently, Butler County has 27 projects within a scoring range of 70-75. Seventy is a failing grade making these projects crucial in the near future.

McCall said he would do his best to get the projects completed in the best way possible.

"We've been working on the most cost efficient way of bringing those roads up to 75," said McCall. "We know that they need attention."

District 1 Commissioner Gary Hanks said he has noticed some of the needed repairs as well.

"We've got to do something about those roads," said Hanks. "They're in bad shape. I'd like to look into trying to do something about it ourselves."

During the Commission meeting the approval of a salary adjustment for Albert McKee was also approved.

McKee recently completed a jail administrator's school, which allowed for a salary adjustment.

Commissioner Dan Robinson had lots of praise for the job McKee had done as jail administrator.

"I think Mr. McKee has done an excellent job," said Robinson.

"He has done a great job of building the jail back up."

During the meeting there was also sadness as the death of Jim Newton and Steve Layfield's recent health problems were announced.

District 2 Commissioner Frank Hickman said both had been a great asset to the community.

"There has been a tremendous source of loss and sadness in the community this week," said Hickman. "Butler County is a blessed community and these are two major blows."

The Commission will next meet on August 9 at 10 a.m.