I-20 Exchange Funding Plan Gets Newton Board Approval

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COVINGTON, Georgia. – Changes may be made to a congested I-20 intersection in western Newton County.

The Council of Commissioners unanimously approved the recent request by Director of Public Works Chester Clegg to seek a $ 5.5 million federal funding grant from the Atlanta Regional Commission for a realignment of the interchange Crowell / Almon road from I-20, where two separate intersections and their traffic lights operate almost side by side.

The intersection of Access Road / Iris Drive and Crowell Road / Almon Road is adjacent to the I-20 Crowell / Almon Roads on and off ramps. Its configuration and signage often creates traffic jams, Clegg said.

The plan includes realigning the convergence of Access / Iris, Crowell / Almon and I-20 by separating traffic lights and other changes to increase traffic flow.

On December 7, the Commissioners approved the use of $ 1.1 million in SPLOST 2017 funds to provide the required 20% match to be eligible for the grant, which will come from federal funds administered by the CRA.

In a separate traffic-related action, commissioners approved the expenditure of $ 48,000 for emergency repairs to the county’s freeway. 213 over the Alcovy River after being struck by a vehicle in October.

The council voted unanimously to accept the offer from Peach State Construction Co. totaling $ 48,097.

Clegg said the vehicle was moving east on the freeway. 213 and caused heavy damage to a concrete parapet wall on the bridge on October 10.

He said the vehicle’s driver insurance would reimburse the county about $ 25,000 of the cost and the rest would have to be budgeted.

Also at the last meeting scheduled for 2021 on December 7, the commissioners:

• Approval of a lawn care contract with Turfwell Athletic Fields LLC. for the Department of Parks and Recreation ball fields. Funds for the annual cost of $ 138,000 will come from the General Fund.

• Approval of a $ 50,000 contract with Lanier Plans Inc., doing business as KorKat, for the design and installation of a playground at City Pond Park. Funding will be provided by SPLOST.

• Voted 4-1 to approve a contract with EDK Co. for the design and construction of a metal building to house vehicles seized by the Newton County Sheriff’s Office. The cost of $ 181,710 will be paid from the Capital Improvements portion of the county budget.

• Georgia Association County Commissioners’ Workers Compensation Premiums Policy Renewal at a cost of $ 187,742.

• Approved Clegg’s request to submit the County Government’s annual list of resurfacing projects to GDOT for 2022 Local Maintenance Improvement Grant (LMIG) funding of nearly $ 1.38 million. The county is to provide a 30% match, or $ 413,000, to bring the total to nearly $ 1.8 million.

The annual grant will help resurface 38 unincorporated Newton County locations.

• Approval of a resolution and an agreement to reimburse the Environmental Protection Division of the Hazardous Waste Trust Fund (EPD), $ 67,333, for the garbage collection fees that the county has. paid to EPD.

• Approved acceptance of donation of land on Salem Road. The land will be donated to GDOT for future Salem Road expansion, officials said.

• Late fees and penalties relief approved for the 2019 and 2020 tax years for Chris Hightower after a typographical error in his address resulted in him not receiving the tax bills.

• Contract terminated with Create Hope and Needed Care for Everyone Inc. and contract approved with Southeastern Psychological Associates Inc. for counseling and transportation services for the County Juvenile Court Mental Health Court program by Newton.

Funding for the $ 35,983 cost of the new contract is already in the juvenile court’s budget.

• Alcoholic Beverage Licenses approved for Bajrang Group LLC, d / b / a Valero Food Mart, at 11280 Brown Bridge Road; and SM Pony Express Inc. at 1820 Hwy. 11.

• Renamed Kelly Robinson as a member of the Democratic Party on the Newton County Board of Elections.

• Ratification of the appointment of Kevin Mitcham to the Newton County Tax Assessor Board.

• Approval of an addendum to the original service agreement with Alexander Tomas & Associates Inc., dba UtilityTRX Co., to add new services and provide separate pricing for HVAC diagnostic software.

• Additional services approved for the new Tracker integration of Laserfiche Document Services to allow access and use of the Walton County District Attorney’s office.

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