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Jackson submits resurfacing wishlist

Photo by Rebecca Long

Photo by Rebecca Long

By Michael Davis

mdavis@myjpa.com

The City of Jackson will submit to the Georgia Department of Transportation a list of 15 streets it would like help to repave.

From July 1 to April 30, the DOT will be taking requests for funding under its new Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant program. The program replaces the Local Assistance Road Program and the State Aid Program.

During its meeting June 1, the Jackson City Council voted to ask the state for help with 15 streets, but approval of any requests will be based on a funding formula and authorization by the DOT commissioner. The grant program is funded by the state's motor fuel tax, which can only be spent on roads and bridges. The program's budget for fiscal 2011 is $96 million, according to DOT Local Grants Administrator Terry Gable.

The streets that Jackson will submit for consideration are Indian Springs Street, Elder Street, Cherry Street, College Street, Briarcliff Road, McCaskill Drive, North Oak Street, South Oak Street, James Moore Drive, Fox Hollow Wood Drive, Kay Street, Joy Street, Cemetery Street, Elm Street and Buchannan Street.

Jackson Mayor Charlie Brown said that of the streets on the list, Briarcliff Road may be the most in need of resurfacing.

"Briarcliff's probably in worse shape than any of them on there, and actually, we may end up paving it ourselves," he said.

Paul Maddox Road, he said, had been on a draft list prior to its approval by the council, but was taken off because the city will repave it with help from the county. A quarter-mile of the road, Brown said, is in unincorporated Butts while about a mile is inside the Jackson city limits.

Brown said that last year, the LARP program funded about 1,200 feet of resurfacing on W.W. Carr Avenue, whereas in years past, the city had been able to repave two to three miles of streets with LARP money. He said the city paid the balance of the cost to repave W.W. Carr.

The city is not anticipating a great deal of funding this year either, Brown said. "We hope for a lot, but we expect nothing," he said.

Gable said the grant program is open to all of Georgia's 159 counties and roughly 500 cities. He gave no time frame for the announcement of awards under the program, but said requests would be processed as they are received.

He said all requests received from local governments by April 30 would be considered, but "there's no doubt there's going to be a benefit to go ahead and get it in."