Jackson County Times

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

County About To Launch Major Paving Program

Financing now in place through $10,000,000 bond issue.
By Sid Riley

At Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Jackson County Board of Commissioners received a report from their financial consultant, Jim Gollahon, relating to the financing alternatives available to the County for the $10,000,000 local paving initiative which is being planned by the Commission.

RFP’s were sent to twenty-eight financial institutions. There were ten responses for the creation of a bank loan or the underwriting of a tax free bond issue. The consultant presented the offers to the Board, and stated that the best proposal was the one from SunTrust Bank for a private placement bank loan. This will be a tax exempt bank loan with a six month draw option, and semiannual payments instead of annual payments. The interest rate for the loan will be 3.6%, on a ten year, fixed rate loan. The draw option and the semi-annual payment procedure will save approximately $255,000 in costs, and thus yield an effective interest rate of 3.32% for the loan.

The Board made and approved a motion to accept the SunTrust offer. Closing is projected for June 15th.

The next step in this process is determining which roads to pave with these funds. County Engineer Larry Alvarez presented a paving proposal to the Board for consideration. Upon questioning from the TIMES, Alvarez stated that the priorities for paving were determined through consideration of several factors which included; traffic count, cost of paving, number of residences served, location in the paving grid for the area, and other factors. The Commissioners will now review this list, make revisions, and approve a final plan. Then requests for bidding from paving contractors will be issued to determine actual final prices.

One reason that the county has decided to engage in this paving plan is because costs are significantly reduced at this time due to prevailing economic conditions, and at the same time, interest rates are very low. The Commissioners feel that if paving is ever to be considered, now is the best time.

The priority listing prepared by the County Engineer involves segments of seventy-six roads across all districts within the county. The roads with the longest sections to be paved and involving the highest projected costs were Bethlehem Road ($650,000), Bumpnose Road ($478,000), Butler Road ($650,000), Compass Lake Drive ($500,000), Grove Road ($572,000), Pike Pond Road ($598,000) and Sweet Pond Road ($525,000). In making these cost projections, Alvarez used the following per mile cost estimates: Major Paving, $500,000 per mile, Minor paving, $260,000 per mile, Chip Seal, $150,000 per mile, Major Overlay, $290,000 per mile, Minor Overlay, $150,000 per mile, Minimum Overlay, $100,000 per mile.

This paving priority
list will hopefully be finalized at the June 8 meeting of the Commission.


  1. Isn't it amazing how an election year can bring about soooo much needed change. People in these areas have been begging for years for help and it took a few months before the election for these commissioners to realize they were in trouble. I'm sure you will see more amazing things appear in the next few months. Are you going to fall for this obviously politically motivated crap. Just like the closing of ACI what a joke. Political garbage orchestrated by candidates seeking one more term to forget about you until the next election. I f Blackwater had wanted to locate in Jackson County you would have saw a totally different ballgame. Privitized prisons, let me remind each of you we have a privitized prison in Graceville. Do we need to close that down, Mr. Branch said he didn't like the idea of a privitized prison taking jobs. You might want to take a look at the campaign contributions real closely. Those are my opinions what are yours?

  2. use old tires crushed up it is cheeper think about it g.robinson email it arthurcats@gmail.com

  3. One of the oldest roads in Jackson county is Neals Landing Rd and it remains off the list of being paved or some other type of improvement. A road grater can come down on Monday morning and by Tuesday evening, the road is back in the same condition. The road needs some serious attention!

  4. Wow Washington politics have finally arrived to Jackson County!!!!!!!!!

    I see unions are spending $100,000,000.00 to keep incumbents in office and Jackson county is spending $10,000,000.00 to keep Branch.

    You can pretty it up all you want but its all political to help an incumbent that has lied for 3 and a half years and fears defeat. But we the tax payers foot the bill.Two months before the election, awesome.

    Hes getting campaign money from companies doing business with the county thousands from outside the county. why would these people be so interested in a JC Commissioner if strings wern't attached.
    $1,000,000.00 sidewalk. Incredible who authorized that expense with stimulus dollars all the county didn't benefit from.

    Haven't you had enough of this poltical propaganda?? If we don't stop it now we will be in a world of hurt.