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CITIZENS OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE
MACON-BIBB COUNTY SALES TAX ROAD PROGRAM
JANUARY 22, 2004
COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT:
DAN DUNWODY, JR.
OLA MAE FORD
How many members were missing? How many have not attended 2 or more meetings? What are their names? Is there an automatic removal clause for appointees who do not attend? - Doc
CLAUDE JOINER REPORTING SERVICE, INC.
410 AMERICAN FEDERAL BUILDING
P. O. BOX 94
MACON, GEORGIA 31202-0094
TELEPHONE: 478/742-6611 or 746-7804
MR. DUNWODY: We don't have a quorum so anything we do will be subject to being approved at the next meeting. Has everybody had a chance to look at the minutes? Are there any additions to the minutes? Any additions or deletions? If not, then by acclamation we'll approve them as published.
Audience comments? Do we have anybody that wants to make any comments before we get going here? No.
Steve, how about the Minority Business Report?
MR. DUVAL: Yes, sir. There's a copy of the MBE report in your agenda package and it's also included in your Streets Cents progress report that everyone has a copy of also, so you'll be able to take that away from here.
Since the inception of the program up until now we've had upwards of fifty minority firms participate in the program in one form or another. And this is a reflection of some of the work that's been going on in the program. I think upwards of seventy some projects have been included in the program so far, and of those we have about, nine of those projects have had MBE's as the prime contractor on those projects.
I'll call your attention to the last page of the report. As of right now the contract amount is $107,919,349 and of the contract amount on the last page we've had 20 percent minority participation in those contracts which totals roughly $21,110,000. And of that some $19,582,000 has been paid to minority firms so far.
So we're operating right now at about 20 percent minority participation, and that has been our goal on most of the projects. And then we are at the 20, or a little above the 20 percent right now. And I'll entertain any questions that you have on this report.
MR. DUNWODY: Does anyone have any questions? If not, thank you, Steve.
MR. DUVAL: Thank you, sir.
MR. DUNWODY: Van, you want to give us a Program report?
MR. ETHERIDGE: Yes, sir. Good afternoon. Since the last meeting that you all had in October, Bibb County has let three contracts of the Road Program. The first was Poplar Street, Project 5C, from the City Hall down to MLK Boulevard. And this project has been awarded to Site Technology, Incorporated located in Roswell, Georgia. And the bid price for that project was $3,987,000. And the completion date for the project is March 2005. Work has not started on it. Here's Mr. Fischer. But a preconstruction conference is going to be held February the 5th which is the first thing that has to happen before work starts.
The next project that was let was Project 5700C, and these are enhancements, improvements at the intersection of Mulberry and Second Street out in front of the Courthouse there. This project has been awarded to Earthscapes, Incorporated located in Phoenix City, Alabama. And the contract price was $564,753,60. And this project is $340,000 cheaper than we got it the last time it was bid, which was last July, and the bids were high and they were rejected. So this is the second time the project has been bid. And it has a completion date of July 15th of this year.
And the third project that was let is Project 13, and it provided for the demolition and disposal of a house located at 4916 Bloomfield Road. And it was necessary to clear this house off of the new right-of-way where the Bloomfield Road project is coming later. This project was awarded to C&C Remediation in Lawrenceville, Georgia, at a cost of $14,500. And the contractor has 60 days to remove this house.
Funds for the construction of the section on Bloomfield from Eisenhower over to Rocky Creek will be available in Fiscal Year >05 which starts this July 1st of this year.
Also it's anticipated that we'll have several projects that will be let to contract shortly. The first is our Tucker Road project, Number 23, which starts at Forsyth Road and goes down to Foster Road. It also includes a multi-use path located alongside the roadway. And we should be advertising for bids in March for this project.
Another project coming up for letting is the Intown Historic District Sidewalk Repairs, Project 65. This will be the third phase of that project and we're going to have six streets ready for repairs: College Street, Orange Street, Bond Street, Walnut Street, Hill Street and Franklin Street. And we'll be ready to let that contract in late February. Phases one and two had some 23 streets to be repaired and that project has been completed.
The next project is 36, which is phase one on Houston Avenue. It starts at Rocky Creek Road and goes up to Newberg Avenue. And we should be ready to let the project in April. We are working with BellSouth to clear up some utility conflicts with their underground conduit system out there.
The next project is on Mercer University Drive from Log Cabin out to I-475. The DOT is going to let the contract on this and they are planning for that in April.
And also the Zebulon Road Interchange is another project DOT will let along with the Lamar Road relocation. It will be let also in April.
Also, to date some 96 projects have been let on the Road Program totaling over $110,000,000 and over 80 percent of the work has been completed. These projects also are shown under page 19 through 22 in the new Progress Report if you wanted to look at them. That Progress Report is just off the press. This morning Steve picked them up. We hadn't reviewed them for errors or anything, but we think they're all right to pass out to you all today. That is up to date numbers on all the recaps and all.
I'd like to mention some of the projects that we do have under construction. The first is Forsyth Street which starts up at College and runs down to City Hall. That project is now about 80 percent complete. It has a May 1st completion date. Some of the remaining work that they have to do is they have to finish the resurfacing of the street, they're installing traffic signals. They have to do the landscaping and also some of the street lighting. So it shouldn't be long until that project is finished up.
Also, out on Bass Road at the intersection of Forsyth and Rivoli Drive not much work has been going on this winter. The project is about eleven percent complete. We think that it will be through by July 31st, which is the completion date now. He should be starting back soon on it. I talked to him this morning about getting back out there. So we should see some progress moving on that.
MS. AYERBE: That intersection, the intersection of Forsyth and Bass, there's, Martha Bowman Church has parking in that area. Is part of the turning lane going to take up that what's now a parking area? I'm just curious because --
MR. ETHERIDGE: Yes. On the front from the first driveway back to the intersection they won't be allowed to park there. But that's the only affect, I think, on the parking is that first block.
MS. AYERBE: I was just curious because, as you know, they've done the grading for the other turn areas but nothing has been done to that area even --
MR. ETHERIDGE: They're going to utilize part of that old parking area as part of the road I think.
MS. AYERBE: And how much does it cost to relocate that major traffic, utility pole which is if you're turning right onto Bass off Forsyth going towards the Interstate? I noticed it the other day. I paid attention to the fact that it was a major --
MR. ETHERIDGE: We wasn't going to relocate that pole under this project even though it is fairly close to the new pavement. It should function okay without doing that because those things are so expensive. They're about 40 or 50 thousand dollars to remove them and relocate one of those. But if we ever do the other project, it will probably have to be relocated again. So we're going to try to get by without relocating it this time.
MS. AYERBE: Okay. I was curious because as you said I could see that it's going to be close to the road. Thank you.
MR. ETHERIDGE: The next project is out on Millerfield Road in east Bibb County. It starts at Bristol Drive and goes on up to the intersection with Shurling Drive. The project is about 40 percent complete now and they're supposed to be through by June 30th. They still are working on curb and gutter and they're pouring some sidewalks now, so I think they'll probably meet that date.
The next project is out on Hartley Bridge at I-75, the phase one improvements. The contractor is working out there, Reeves, is 16 percent complete now and has a May 31st, >05 completion date. Also, the phase two part of that, which is the interchange at 75 and 475, it has a tentative let date of fiscal 2006.
The next project is Log Cabin, the section from Eisenhower over to Mercer. It's about 40 percent complete now, and it has a completion date of this summer. That's a heavily traveled section there and it's providing a lot of problems right now.
MR. DUNWODY: When will that, when are they supposed to be finished with that?
MR. ETHERIDGE: I don't have a date other than --
MR. DUNWODY: Oh.
MR. ETHERIDGE: -- it's this summer.
MR. DUNWODY: Summer, okay.
MR. ETHERIDGE: All of our other projects under design presently are having their environmental documents reviewed by DOT and Federal Highway. And, of course, once that happens then that project is approved and the project will be advanced on into final design and right-of-way acquisition. And a lot of projects are in that category. The Jeffersonville Road project, Forest Hill Road, the Northwest Parkway, Sardis Church Connector from I-75 over to Warner Robins Highway. All of those are in that particular phase of having their environmental documents reviewed.
And, Mr. Chairman, that's all I have unless somebody has some questions about specific projects that they would like to --
MR. DUNWODY: Anybody have a question?
MR. ETHERIDGE: -- know more about.
MS. AYERBE: You have Northside Drive listed as being complete; however, there's still barrels in the section between Forest Hill and Wesleyan. And even my five-year-old son noticed. He asked why were there barrels still in the road, and I said because it's not complete yet. So he noted that the day before we had been driving on that section of the road. He said we just drove on it yesterday.
MR. ETHERIDGE: Yeah. As I understood, what that was for, there's some problem with the drainage right there. If it rains maybe it's going to hold some water. And they've had that lane blocked off for that short distance until they get that corrected. I think they have been working on it. I was by there one day and it looked like they were working on the problem. But apparently they're going to keep it closed until they get it fixed so that if it does rain there won't be a problem right there at the beginning of it.
MS. AYERBE: Thank you.
MR. DUNWODY: Anybody have a question about any of the projects?
MR. FISCHER: What's the status of Forest Hill at this point?
MR. ETHERIDGE: Forest Hill, the document as you know has been back and forth from DOT to Federal Highway. The last time we had revisions on it was in September. We did those revisions and sent it back and it's been at Federal Highway and DOT since then. We understood a week ago that they were probably not going to review it again until February due to their workload. So at that time I mean it should be approved because the minor changes they asked for have been made and we've had those back to them since September.
MR. FISCHER: Would it be possible to get a copy of the changes that we submitted?
MR. ETHERIDGE: No. You can't get a-hold of anything concerning that document until it's approved. And that's not our rules, that's Federal Highway's rules. Once it's approved, it's a public document.
That's all I have.
MR. DUNWODY: Any other questions? Dan, did you have something?
MR. FISCHER: No.
MR. DUNWODY: Okay. Do we have any comments from the audience? Any other comments from the audience? How about any old business that we need to talk about or bring up?
MR. FISCHER: I'd like to make an observation on Northside Avenue again. It was interesting to see that when the intersection at Wesleyan was finished and all lanes were open that the traffic still backed up all the way to Springdale School in the mornings, and that was with all of the lanes in. So the additional lanes at that intersection didn't seem to have much of a benefit to allaying the problems. The minute the stop light was activated, all the problems disappeared, which makes me think that the remedy for the whole issue up there probably would have been improvements of the intersection with stop lights.
Another interesting observation is the minute that road opened there were deputy sheriffs, a deputy sheriff at the bottom of the hill catching everybody that drove the design speed of the new road. And they were pulling them over one after the other because obviously people were driving at the design speed, which was probably 15, 20 miles above the posted speed. That was another sort of interesting observation about getting the design and the posted speeds the same. I noticed that same thing on Edna. That's a real traffic trap because it's very hard to drive 25 miles an hour on Edna.
MR. DUNWODY: It is.
MR. FISCHER: And the one, after it first opened my wife and I were coming from the Mall and I said I'm just going to show you what the speed limit is here. So I was crawling along. It didn't seem like we were moving. I went around the corner and sure enough there was a police car that had pulled soembody over. And I would have been going five, ten miles over the speed limit just by what the road told you to drive. I think we have a safety problem with that dicotomy between design and posted speeds in rural areas like that. Now, the design speed of Edna people would go is definitely too fast to be safe. But 25 seems to be a problem there, too. It's just an observation.
MR. DUNWODY: We just can't hit the happy medium, can we?
MS. AYERBE: Also on Northside there's just one speed limit sign which is up at this point, and it's because I tried to, you know, I made a point to look for the speed limit signs, and it's just right after you cross over the Forest Hill intersection, right past the Forest Hill intersection with Northside, just to the right there's a speed limit sign of 35 miles an hour, but otherwise there are no speed limit signs in that new stretch of road.
MR. FISCHER: It was interesting the very day, the weekend it was opened, the sheriff's deputy was stopping them and pulling them into the Springdale parking lot.
MR. SHEPARD: Dan, we might talk to Bill on that and get that speed limit raised.
MR. DUNWODY: Bill Wikle, yeah.
MS. AYERBE: Well, it is still through a neighborhood so, you know, we don't want to encourage people to think that they can drive 55 miles an hour.
MR. SHEPARD: Well, I'd rather have a 35 enforced though than a 25 that, you know --
MS. AYERBE: But if you post 45 people think, well, I can go ten miles over the speed limit without getting a ticket.
MR. FISCHER: But 45 probably would be realistic with the turn lanes, wouldn't it, Van?
MR. SHEPARD: Well, if you post 35 and then, you know, allow a little bit to go and that would probably do it.
MR. FISCHER: But the problem of the little bit to go is when they're catching them. And I'm with you, I mean I'd rather have a speed limit that was more closely enforced.
MR. SHEPARD: We had a road at Bloomfield, Chambers Road, I don't know if you remember, but Chambers Road goes downhill. You've almost got to ride the brakes all the way to get, and it was posted at 25 miles an hour and we got them to raise it to 35 for us.
MR. FISCHER: I was wondering what the speed limit was because I never could find the sign.
MR. DUNWODY: I didn't know either. I'm just glad to hear it's 35. I've been traveling it and I didn't know what it was.
MR. SHEPARD: It's probably 25.
MR. FISCHER: But I think there's a lot of hard feelings among citizens when they don't know what the speed limit is, when everything is out of sync like that, and then the minute a new road opens we're catching them. I don't think it's good PR.
MR. DUNWODY: Well, Vineville, for instance, it's 35. I don't know whether you knew that or not, but it's 35.
MR. FISCHER: But isn't the default speed 35 if they're not posted in the City?
MR. ETHERIDGE: Yes, I think it is.
MR. FISCHER: I mean I was sort of assuming it was 35 but I had never seen the sign.
MR. DUNWODY: Any new business?
MR. SHEPARD: Mr. Chairman, I'd like to make a motion. It looks like our business here has slowed down considerably. And I was just wondering if we might just go to a call as needed meeting instead of our regular meetings. Just when we had some business come up, you call a meeting instead of, you know, setting a regular schedule meeting because we have so little to discuss each time.
MS. FORD: Second.
MR. FISCHER: It's hard to plan for though.
MR. SHEPARD: Pardon?
MR. FISCHER: It's harder to plan your schedule for if you don't know when it's coming.
MR. SHEPARD: Well, usually you can get within a week, you know.
MR. DUNWODY: What's your desire? I mean I, whatever you want to do, I'll do.
MR. SHEPARD: Did I get a second?
MS. FORD: I seconded.
MR. DUNWODY: We have a motion and a second to just have a meeting as needed. Now, I don't know how, I don't know what you mean by as needed, but we can --
MR. SHEPARD: Well, when we have an issue come up that we need to address.
MR. DUNWODY: If we need it.
MR. SHEPARD: You can just call a meeting.
MR. DUNWODY: Are there --
MR. FISCHER: Discussion?
MR. DUNWODY: Yeah. Any discussion?
MR. FISCHER: I would think that since we still have quite a few projects up, you know, meeting quarterly isn't that big a deal. I think at some point in time that might make sense, but I'm not quite sure it won't be premature now. I'd suggest that at least for a few more meetings we do it quarterly. I think it helps the staff to have sort of a target. I know for me I thought I was going to have to miss this meeting. Somebody called a surprise meeting in Atlanta, and then fortunately they cancelled it. But it always helps me to be able to get something on my schedule and try to keep my schedule open. So I would strongly recommend we wait at least another meeting or two before we do that. That's, quarterly meetings, that's four a year.
MR. DUNWODY: Yeah, that's true. Any comments from, any other comments about it? All in favor of the motion signify by saying, Aaye@.
MR. PACE: AAye@.
MS. FORD: AAye@.
MR. SHEPARD: AAye@.
MR. DUNWODY: Opposed, Ano@.
MR. FISCHER: ANo@.
MS. AYERBE: ANo@. I don't know if I count, but.
MR. DUNWODY: Well, the motion carries, so we may call one next quarter though.
MR. FISCHER: Okay.
MS. AYERBE: So would somebody need to call you if they had a concern?
MR. DUNWODY: You can or call Van either, call Moreland Altobelli, either one.
MS. AYERBE: Okay.
MR. DUVAL: And I'll be sure to get everybody's opinion, you know, on a date that we can probably work with if we do call a meeting. You know, we'll call around and make sure everybody can, you know, when I say everybody we need to have a quorum at the meeting because that's been kind of difficult.
MR. DUNWODY: When is our next meeting scheduled?
MR. ETHERIDGE: April 22nd.
MR. DUNWODY: April 22nd?
MR. ETHERIDGE: Yes.
MR. FISCHER: And I'd suggest if you have to call one next quarter it would be logical to do it when it would have been scheduled anyway because the citizens would be more apt to know about it. In fact, I think I'll stick it in my schedule just in case you do call it.
MS. AYERBE: But at this point it's not a definite date?
MR. DUNWODY: Ma'am?
MS. AYERBE: At this point the meeting is not a definite for April 22nd unless you --
MR. DUNWODY: It's a probable, let's put it that way.
MS. AYERBE: That's what I wanted to make sure of.
MR. DUNWODY: Any other business?
MR. FISCHER: I'd like to thank whoever made arrangements for us to meet here and tour the facility.
MR. DUNWODY: Yeah, I think this is nice.
MR. FISCHER: I think that's wonderful to get a chance to see it.
MR. DUNWODY: When will they finish all the lights that they're working on, Van? Do you know how we're doing on that process? Or is Bill going to tell us about it?
MR. ETHERIDGE: I think the phase two and three probably by summer, Mike?
MR. ENGLAND: It's actually been extended to November of this year.
MR. ETHERIDGE: November?
MR. ENGLAND: The actual completion date, or the projected completion date.
MR. ETHERIDGE: It was the end of the year as I remember. The original completion date was the end of >03, and apparently they've extended it, the DOT has. They're managing that particular project.
MR. SHEPARD: I'll tell you, as a person that travels Eisenhower Parkway several times a day, I'd like to extend my appreciation for what they've done on that street. It has just really made things nice traveling up and down there.
MR. DUNWODY: If there is no further business, then we will stand adjourned.
CERTIFICATE OF REPORTER
STATE OF GEORGIA
COUNTY OF MONROE.
I hereby certify that the within and foregoing record is a true, complete and correct transcript of the proceeding taken by me on the 22nd day of January, 2004.
This 23rd day of January, 2004.
PATRICIA C. USSERY, CCR
Certificate No. B-1238
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