Resurfacing and spot patching has been done in the Villages at Ellington subdivision. - Special Photo
COVINGTON — Nearly a year after residents of Villages at Ellington presented a petition with 100 signatures requesting help with disintegrating roads in their subdivision, two streets are getting upgraded.
The work includes patching and resurfacing on Charleston Place and spot patching on Springlake Terrace. Resident Ann Neuhierl, who has been before county commissioners numerous times to request road improvements, said it’s just a small portion of what needs to be done in the Ellington development, which, in addition to Villages at Ellington, includes Springs at Ellington and the two phases of Silos of Ellington.
But Neuhierl said she understands the county doesn’t have money to do all the needed work.
“I, personally, feel that the BOC is trying to help us but there just isn’t any money due to the lower property values and, therefore, lower tax monies received to run Newton County,” she said. “A very sad state because the poor appearance of our roads invites crime, another issue we are working diligently on in this neighborhood.”
The work is part of the county’s ongoing improvements to subdivision roads, and is being funded through the public works budget, County Engineer Tom Garrett said. Additional work could be done there if funds become available, he said.
Last year, the county had a draft document showing that more than $950,000 in road repairs are needed for the Ellington development, but that was in 2012 dollars. Spread out over several years to 2017, the cost was estimated at more than $1.4 million.
Chairman Keith Ellis said projects are being selected based on need and cost of the work. He said there is approximately $106,000 left in the public works budget for road repairs this fiscal year
Ellis said at the very beginning of his term this year that creating a master list of short- and long-range road projects was a top priority, stating that, “Money has been available but projects have not been done.”
Ellis said this week the county does not have enough funds to do all the work that needs to be done, but, “We’re trying to put Band-Aids on in some cases … to fix it so it doesn’t deteriorate any more.”
The county only had about $360,000 budgeted in public works for road improvements this fiscal year, in addition to some SPLOST money and more than $846,000 in Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant money from the Department of Transportation. Resurfacing of more than 7 miles of roads funded through LMIG will begin in June. The county is required to fund a 30 percent match, at roughly $250,000.
Roads to be resurfaced will be Mote and McGiboney Roads; Jack Neely from Windsong Drive to Fairview Road; part of Oak Hill Road from Ga. Highway 212 to Ga. Highway 20; Dixie Road from Highway 213 to Henderson Mill Road; and patchwork on Malcolm Road. Motorists should expect delays once the projects get started.