Board hears proposals for county road projects

Published 7:33 pm Wednesday, January 30, 2008

County engineer Les Dungan of Dungan Engineering discussed completed state aid road projects and proposed possible road projects for the next several years at the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday.

State aid funding is received monthly and can be used on any roads that are not state maintained and that are built to state aid standards. Other funding comes from BR funds, which are federal dollars made available on a case-by-case basis; STP funds, which are federal funds allocated annually based on the state aid formula; LSBP funds, which are allocated based on the number of deficient bridges and total number of system road miles in the county; and ER/MS funds, which are funds allocated for emergency projects.

Dungan began by reviewing the board projects that have been completed over the last several years, including bridge replacements on Dupont-Harts Chapel Road, McNeill-McHenry Road, Burnt Bridge Road and Poplarville-Silver Run Road. Dungan said state aid total funding for the completed projects was just over $2.5 million. Funding from other sources totaled more than $4 million.

Dungan said there are four projects under construction, including a maintenance overlay on Old Kiln Road, a bridge replacement on West Union Road, an emergency road repair and reseal on Gumpond-Beal, Old Camp, and Hilt Fornea roads and an emergency road repair and overlay on Progress and West Union roads.

The total state aid funds for projects under construction is more than $1.2 million, with more than $2.6 million coming from other funding sources.

Dungan named several projects that are in the design phase, which means they have not been put out for bid. The design phase projects include numerous bridge replacements on roads such as Burnt Bridge Road, Industrial-Cybur Road, Asa McQueen Road, Oak Hill Road, Sones-Chapel Road and Holden Road.

The total state aid funds allocated for the design phase projects is $1.2 million, with an additional $2.5 million coming from other sources.

Dungan then listed several proposed projects for the board to take under advisement, and said the county has been allocated $2.5 million in state aid funds for the proposed projects. An additional $1.3 million is available from other funding sources.

Some of the proposed projects include bridge replacements on Archie Wheat, Grady Lewis, Beach, McSween, Homer Ladner, Humphrey, Millard, McNeil-Steep Hollow and Harry Sones roads, pile repair on Old Kiln Road, signing and restriping on John Amacker and Connie Hariel Road, and a county-wide reseal on five unnamed roads.

The board also heard from Tommy Smith, who asked about a road on his property that the county had paved and is maintaining, Tommy Smith Road. Smith said the road is named for his father, but the section that the county had paved and was maintaining is not the site of the original road.

“That road cuts across my property. Some people have moved in down there, and the county came through and put a culvert in and cut a hole in my fence to get to their property. … The county is maintaining the wrong part of the road. I’m paying taxes for my land, and ya’ll have a public road on it. I’m not getting full use of my land,” Smith said.

Smith said the road has been on his property for a while, but he was unaware that the road actually went across his property until he went and looked at surveys of the land. He said the actual county road is another section through there, and it is no longer maintained by the county.

District III Supervisor Hudson Holliday asked Smith if he would be willing to allow the county to continue to maintain the road if the land was taken off his property taxes.

“No, because that would take half of my property,” Smith said.

District I Supervisor Anthony Hales, who is Smith’s supervisor, asked Smith to give board attorney Joe Montgomery time to research the matter and get back with him.

“The truth is, no one complained about the road before now. Now, there’s a problem because someone else is wanting to use the road that the people of this county paid to blacktop,” Holliday said.

Smith disagreed with Holliday and said he planned to let the neighbors have a right-of-way across his property once the matter is settled.

“All I’m complaining about is that that section isn’t supposed to be Tommy Smith Road… Ya’ll have been keeping a road, but it’s in the wrong place. The road is my property that I’m paying for,” Smith said.

The board voted to have Montgomery review the matter and return with a recommendation.

Holliday also asked the board about a request from Buck Landrum for property that had been donated for use as a voting precinct to be returned to him.

“Mr. Landrum donated property for the Gumpond voting precinct years ago with the understanding that it would be returned to him when the county finished using it. They are no longer using it, and he wants to see about getting it deeded back to his family,” Holliday said.

Landrum said the previous board sent him a letter that the land should be returned to him, but he had never received a deed for the land.

County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin said former board attorney Nova Carroll had been working on the matter, but did not know if it had ever been settled.

The board voted to allow Montgomery to look into the matter.