Madison County commissioners got some sticker shock on proposed roadwork June 30.
The group advertised for bids to pave Transco Road, Spratlin Mill Road and Young Harris Road, but the low bid was considerably higher than they anticipated. And the group agreed to advertise through a statewide publication to seek offers from additional companies.
Allied Paving put in the lowest bid. They agreed to pave the three roads as well as the parking lot at the new soccer complex for $1.8 million. The proposed cost is as follows: Transco, $646,600; Spratlin Mill, $466,279; Young Harris, $553,490; and the soccer complex, $136,963.
Board members said the proposal for the soccer complex was reasonable. And they agreed to move forward with that paving project, which will be covered with sales tax funds.
But the road prices were far higher than the group expected. Commission chairman Anthony Dove said the bids were substantially more per mile than last year, when the board approved several road projects.
“The bids are tremendously higher than last year,” said Dove. “We were going off of last year. We were getting in the neighborhood of $80,000 to $90,000 a mile. This is more like $130,000 to $140,000 a mile.”
County commissioners are discussing what projects could be handled through the state’s Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant (LMIG) program. Madison County anticipates receiving $540,000 through LMIG for 2015. But the county also has to match 30 percent of that cost, which would be about a $160,000 commitment in local funds.
With prices skyrocketing, county commissioners discussed taking an unconventional route on road paving.
“Because of the prices we may have to go with tar and gravel on secondary roads,” said commissioner Stanley Thomas.
Commissioner Mike Youngblood asked road department director Alan Lapczynski to see what paving businesses handle tar and gravel work. Dove said the county could look at working with Oglethorpe County, which does its own paving. He also suggested that the county investigate how much it would cost to purchase its own tar and gravel equipment.