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BOC approves road repair agreement with Lovejoy

Photo by Curt Yeomans
The Clayton County Board of Commissioners approved an intergovernmental agreement between the county and the City of Lovejoy for road work in the town. The agreement calls for the county to do road repair and maintenance work in Lovejoy, which would be required to reimburse the county.

Photo by Curt Yeomans The Clayton County Board of Commissioners approved an intergovernmental agreement between the county and the City of Lovejoy for road work in the town. The agreement calls for the county to do road repair and maintenance work in Lovejoy, which would be required to reimburse the county.

Clayton County’s government and the City of Lovejoy are in the process of finalizing a formal agreement, which codifies a long-standing unwritten agreement concerning road work in the city.

The county commission voted unanimously, Tuesday night, to approve an intergovernmental agreement with Lovejoy officials to have county workers do road repair and maintenance work in the city.

Documents presented to the commission this week show that the county has, in the past, resurfaced Lovejoy’s roads, at the city’s request, and that the city, in turn, reimbursed the county for the work.

“In the past, we have been operating without a formal agreement with the City of Lovejoy,” Clayton County Transportation and Development Director Jeff Metarko wrote in a written request to the county commission.

The agreement with Lovejoy is not set at a specified dollar amount. It does, however, call for the county to only work on road projects that qualify for funding through the Georgia Department of Transportation’s Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant program.

The town would be required to reimburse the county for the total amount of money spent to do the work, under the terms of the agreement.

“This is 100 percent return from Lovejoy,” Interim County Attorney Jack Hancock told commissioners during a pre-meeting session. “They will either pay by way of state funds that they are eligible to receive, or from their [city funds] for 100 percent of the cost.”

Such intergovernmental agreements are not uncommon. Metarko’s written request to the commissioners shows that the county already has similar agreements in place with Forest Park, Jonesboro, Lake City, Morrow and Riverdale.

Commission Chairman Eldrin Bell later added that “we want to be in a position of helping our cities,” but he said he expects this intergovernmental agreement will have no impact on the ongoing service delivery dispute between the county and its cities.

There are no specific road projects mentioned in a copy of the resolution to approve the agreement, in Metarko’s request form, or in a written copy of the agreement.

Metarko told commissioners during the pre-meeting that there were two projects that Lovejoy has already been approved to proceed with, but he did not identify what those projects involved. He said, however, the approved projects must be under way by May.

Lovejoy City Councilman Bobby Cartwright, who had been handling some of the duties of the mayor’s office immediately after former mayor, Joe Murphy, stepped down last year, did not attend the meeting. He said he could not immediately recall the details of the approved projects, when contacted late Tuesday night, but said the Lovejoy City Council approved the agreement last year.