JASPER, Ga. – Pickens County Citizens are breathing an extra sigh of relief today as news is spreading that the major construction and repairs of Jones Mountain Road are officially complete.
Citizens have been avoiding the road at first, and later dealing with only one open lane, since February 22, 2019, when a landslide took out a portion of the road and undermined the stability of the remainder. As county commissioners declared a local emergency in the situation, recovery began within that same week when inspectors came to assess the damage.
According to Pickens County Public Information Officer Tucker Green, the project has seen delays with one paving company backing out of the project, weather delays, and smaller issues popping up. The county has appreciated citizen’s patience with the project as Green said, “We sympathize for the inconvenience.”
According to an official release from the county, “GSI (contractors) and EXP Services Inc. (project engineers) completed the project and final inspections have been approved. This project which was caused by a natural disaster – landslide earlier in the year was declared a local emergency by the Board of Commissioners.”
It went on to add,”The work required was substantial and included: installation of a 380’ long Soil Nail Wall and a 20’ tall Geosynthetically Confined Soil Wall in the most severe portion of the landslide. Additionally, a guardrail and fencing were installed for safety precautions and both lanes of the road were resurfaced.
County Commission Chairman Rob Jones called the incident “A pretty good hit for a small county like Pickens,” back in March. But said this week, “With the amount of work and meeting state requirements along with the financial assistance from the Governor’s Office and the D.O.T., that area should be good for many years to come.”
Green also pointed to the assistance as a major boon to the project. The grant came in April with an expectation to quickly open one lane quickly and another two months to fully repair the road.
Green estimated that project to have a completed total just over $2 million, but exact expenses will come through financial reports with the county.
JASPER, Ga. – The City Council approved three major events for the Jasper Merchants Association (JMA) accompanying closing of Main Street in Downtown Jasper.
Usually spread across the entirity of the Fall Season as the JMA requests the road closure for these events, this year, with the help of City Manager Brandon Douglas, they made one request including all three events. Citizens should be aware of this road closure for the following days:
Thursday, October 31, 2019, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. for the Halloween Event.
Saturday, December 7, 2019, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. for the Christmas Parade, with the parade to start at 6 p.m.
Tuesday, December 31, 2019, from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. for the New Year’s Eve Celebration.
Not associated with the JMA, Main Street will also be closed for the Prevent Child Abuse Pickens Long Table event on September 21, 2019, from Noon until midnight.
The city has received four bids for their paving contract for road paving. The apparent low bidder came to be Northwest Georgia Paving, Inc. with a bid of $1,217,062.50. Approved by the council, the paving contract has been awarded.
JASPER, Ga. – Addressing the 2019 LMIG (Local Maintenance & Improvement Grant), the Pickens County Board of Commissioners Work Session discussed the project at their August Work Session as to what they could accomplish on the list.
The list, used for the discussion, totaled $2,083,467 estimated in materials cost for every one of the forty-one roads included. The list is prioritized according to Pickens County Commission Chairman Rob Jones.
While the board estimates close to $577,000 from the grant, they also noted the increasing prices of asphalt saying the slight increase in funding over last year would not even cover the cost difference.
Jones said in the meeting they would be looking to fund the difference in the LMIG and the rest of their paving would come from SPLOST. However, the list as it stands is for discussion and subject to change before their final decisions coming at the August 16 Regular Session.
The list as it stands is as follows:
City council of Jasper held its regular meeting Monday evening on July 13, 2015
The meeting began with Lisa Hoyle relaying information regarding the 2014 audit review comments. The City will have a policy to have citation books secure until handed out in an effort to keep the citations in order in the required log. There is also a policy in place to ensure the person taking the money and the person handling deposits and reconciliation are assigned as separate duties, this will ensure money is handled properly.
There was then a decision to advertise for bid to repair the city baseball field. They will seek estimates for replacing fence sections and other repair issues. There was an estimate previously given but due to the amount there will a request for bid.
Jeff Hall, Chief Deputy for Pickens County Sheriff’s Office addressed the council regarding a contract between them for the County to house all City prisoners. Previously there was a fee for this service however a contract will allow the City to pull a percentage from fines to alleviate this cost. The County will also take over the bonding process which is how this is handled in most other jurisdictions.
Lonnie Waters reported to the Council regarding bids to repair streets. Johnson Paving was awarded the bid with a price just over $269,000. The City will issue requests for bid on the stripping of the roads. Mayor Weaver commented his desire for the project to look good once it was completed. The City will seek bids on stripping for multiple roads in an effort to secure better pricing. Some of the roads to be repaved will be Hood, Lawson, Old Federal, and Janette Avenue.
Gerry Nechnaval, Economic Director of Pickens County, expressed the appreciation on behalf of himself and the Chamber of the dedication to work with the Downtown Alliance. He also reported the Tom Cruise movie wrapped up production in Ball Ground, There were movie scouts recently scouting locations in our area and very pleased with what they saw so now we wait. There is a possibility for perhaps a passive park by a Conservation Trust Company interested in pursuing something of that nature but no definite plans at this time. A local company has obtained a contract for a different side of business that will create jobs but we will have to wait for the announcement to find out details.
The meeting ended with reports from Police Chief and Fire Department. The Jasper Police responded to 802 calls and 31 accidents in June. The Fire Department responded to a total of 123 calls in June, with a 712 total for the year.