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Old 179 S. to get more than a facelift

Motorists who travel Old 179 south of Whigham to Calvary will soon have a smoother ride to enjoy.
The Grady County Board of Commissioners unanimously accepted a low bid of $2,240,430.67 from Scruggs Company Interstate Construction of Valdosta for the full depth reclamation and paving project.
According to County Administrator Rusty Moye, the contractor will use equipment that digs up about eight inches of the road bed and crushes that material into a mixture which is mixed with concrete and poured for base, then resurfacing goes on top of that.
The project is being funded through a combination of state and local funds. According to Moye, $691,000 is coming from the Georgia Department of Transportation and the remaining $1,459,030 will be funded with proceeds from the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.
The total project is 10 miles in length, and consulting engineer Stacy Watkins, who briefed commissioners on the project Tuesday, said it will be done one lane at a time in order to accommodate traffic.
Watkins said he hopes that construction can begin the first of March and, depending on weather conditions, can be completed within about four months.
In other business Tuesday, the board:
Approved the use of baseball fields at Barber Park for use by the Washington/Shiver middle school baseball program. Commissioners also approved the school charging an admission fee to the games to help cover the costs of the middle schools’ baseball program.
Met with Georgia Department of Transportation engineers Joe Sheffield and Randy Herring. Sheffield updated the board on changes going on within the DOT and briefly discussed a proposal which would allow district voters to cast ballots on a penny sales tax designated for transportation improvements.
Approved the low bid of $6,800 from Mills Heating & Air for a new HVAC system at the Agri-Center. Vice Chairman Renaud questioned why bids were not solicited from Parker’s Heating & Air or Carter-Wilkes, both of Cairo.  Administrator Moye told commissioners Building & Grounds Superintendent Steve Walden “tried to get everybody local to bid,” but admitted he did not know exactly who was contacted to bid. The board approved the low bid on a 4-1 vote with Renaud voting in opposition.
Voted unanimously to apply for a Community Home Investment Program grant from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. If the county is successful the grant funds can be combined with other assistance funds to help owners of substandard homes to weatherize and improve their houses.
Approved the purchase of an extended warranty for a new garbage truck purchased two weeks ago. The cost of the extended warranty is $4,625.
Heard an update on repairs to a wrecked county ambulance. The unit was transported to Peach State Ambulance for evaluation and they have recommended the ambulance be totaled, according to Moye. The county’s insurance carrier is not reviewing the matter. Commissioners were moving toward accepting a low bid for the repair of the ambulance, but delayed action at the request of Vice Chairman Renaud, who suggested Peach State be contacted first.
Approved Paul Ponder’s request to rent approximately 85 acres of county land at the Tired Creek property for farming at a cost of $5,600 annually.

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