Photo by Jim Massara
Lake City road workers Andy Aster and Sam Pate fill a pothole on Forest Parkway.
LAKE CITY — With no agreement in place over which government agencies provide services such as police and fire protection, Lake City Mayor Willie Oswalt said he’s already feeling the pinch. Lake City has spent about $1,300 to patch potholes that Oswalt said Clayton County should have filled.
“We get calls,” Oswalt said. “People have wrecked tires, ruined rims. In the places we’ve already patched, there was going to be a serious, serious accident because of people dodging the holes. You could stand right over there and watch.”
Oswalt went one better and shadowed a Lake City crew last Friday to observe road repairs on Forest Parkway.
“In order to prevent accidents, we’re just going to take it on ourselves to do what’s right,” Oswalt said, who held a Lowe’s receipt for $178.20 while his crew patted down asphalt fill as cars drove by.
Clayton County Manager Wade Starr — who Oswalt said should have the holes filled because Forest Parkway is a county road — sees things differently.
Starr said that while Clayton County would never leave a repair unmade that jeopardizes citizen safety, the smaller fixes would stay on hold until an agreement is reached.
“We’re moving toward resolution of this matter, but if they had signed the agreement, a lot of these matters would not be on the table,” Starr said.
Starr pointed to Article IX of Georgia’s constitution, which in part prohibited any county from providing services within a municipality “except by contract” as the reason for leaving minor repairs like potholes unfilled.
“If they want us to do it, sign the agreement and we’ll be glad to do it,” Starr said.
Negotiations between the cities and Clayton County begin next Tuesday.