County, Porterdale to split road costs

COVINGTON - Newton County and the city of Porterdale will split the cost for acquiring the right of way at the intersection of Ga. Highway 81 and Crowell Road for an improvement project.

Commissioners unanimously approved an intergovernmental agreement with the city Tuesday night.

The agreement makes the county responsible for obtaining professional services to acquire right of way, including surveying, appraisal and legal services.

The county will own all right of way acquired, and will donate county-owned property at the southeast quadrant of the intersection.

The city will be required to pay half the cost of professional services and right-of-way purchase costs.

The Porterdale City Council approved the agreement earlier this month at the request of Councilman Robert Foxworth, who is attempting to expedite the long-stalled project, which will entail adding a traffic light and turning lanes at the intersection.

Porterdale will use funds earmarked for transportation from the 2005 special purpose local option sales tax to pay its share of the cost.

The county will also pay for its portion through SPLOST revenues.

The $1.7 million construction bill will be footed by the Georgia Department of Transportation, but right-of-way acquisition and utility relocation must be funded locally.

The DOT estimates right of way costs will run about $296,000, plus another $54,190 to move utilities.

"I appreciate the county commissioners support of this project," Foxworth said. "I'm very happy there was a unanimous vote to accept our proposal. We're one step closer on the intersection."

Staff Reporter Joel Griffin contributed to this story.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.