Citing the need to make a better impression on the county’s most-traveled roads and to compensate for poor work done by GDOT, county commissioners approved a new mowing program that will bring an added emphasis to the state routes in Fayette.
In April of this year, the county approved the addition of two new workers, along with additional equipment, to form a third mowing crew. Rather than adding them to the schedule for county roads, staff recommended having the third crew work exclusively on state routes. As noted by Public Works Director Phil Mallon, combining the traffic on county roads totals up to less than half of the volume that travels SR 54, SR 74, SR 314, and McDonough Road.
“We recommend we dedicate the new equipment and those two new positions to create a third crew, but have them focus entirely on the state routes,” said Mallon. “We are confident we can provide the level of service that the board is looking for and our citizens are looking for.”
Mallon assured the commissioners that it would not require any additional financial commitment.
“I want to be clear, we’re not asking for any more equipment or people or money. It’s just direction in how we use these resources.”
Currently, GDOT is contracted to mow the state routes, but staff agrees that they’re not doing a sufficient job. The enhanced schedule would not relieve GDOT of their contracted three rounds of mowing per year, but would supplement it.
Commissioner Charles Rousseau chastised GDOT for the job they do.
“They do a poor job. Let me just say that for the record,” he said. “They’re not living up to the standard we would like, so we have to take matters into our own hands. We would like them to take their job a little bit more seriously.”
Commissioner Steve Brown pointed out the importance of the state routes to economic development. When a potential business is brought through town, those roads are often the first they see.
“The first impression for economic development stuff is just critical because they’re only making one trip,” said Brown. “That one trip is what they will base their decision on for potentially hundreds of millions of dollars worth of expenditures and tax money generated in our county and good jobs.”
The requested mowing schedule was unanimously approved.