The Catoosa County Commission agreed last Tuesday night to set aside $219,000 for a road paving grant.
The county will submit an application for state funding as part of the Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant. In exchange for setting aside its money for the program, the county would receive about $729,000 from the Georgia Department of Transportation.
If awarded, the county will repave two roads next year with the funding. It will roll through 3 miles on Stewart Road, from the bridge at Old Tunnel Hill Road to the Whitfield County line. The money also would help to repave about 1 mile on Temperance Hall Road, from Georgia State Route 151 to Hooper Road.
The $219,000 figure is only a part of what the county will pay to improve the roads. The commissioners voted to approve that spending because, as part of the state grant, the county has to set aside its own money at a rate of about 30 percent of what the Department of Transportation is spending.
With the county’s fiscal year ending in September, Chief Financial Officer Carl Henson reported during last week’s Board of Commissioners meeting that the local government received about $680,000 more than expected and spent about $1.5 million less than the commissioners budgeted for.
However, the county estimates that the overall cost of the road projects is about $1.5 million. The state's funding will pay about half that amount. In addition to the $219,000 the commissioners voted last week to spend, the county will need to spend about $550,000.
Public Works Director Donald "Buster" Brown said the county is paying for the project through sales tax revenue.
"This will go to improve local county roads, correct?" Commissioner Jim Cutler asked during the meeting.
"Correct," Brown said.
"So," Cutler said, "I think it's a pretty good grant."
Brown said he chose those two roads because they were the most damaged. County workers rate every county road every three years on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the best and 1 being almost too rough to even drive on. He said those sections of Stewart and Temperance Hall roads rate as a 2.
Fatigue cracking on the pavement, when the cracks spread through a road in a pattern that looks like an alligator's back, is the main measurement for whether a road needs to be fixed. Brown expects the repaving to begin next year.
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