Representatives from local government agencies reported on their progress in completing Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax 2016 projects on Monday.
Frederica Road has been repaved, and all that’s left to do is paint stripes, said Glynn County Public Works Director Dave Austin. He added that contractors will do the work at night and should start tonight.
Other repaving projects that the county has finished include Demere Road, East Beach Causeway and sections of Norwich Street the county owns. Old Jesup Highway near Everett, however, has been something of a challenge, he said.
Austin said contractors started Monday on a full-depth reclamation of the road. They should finish digging up and rebuilding the roadbed this week and start paving shortly after.
A major project to expand the intersection at Kings Way and Frederica Road needs a right-of-way acquisition to progress. Another right-of-way issue is standing in the way of replacing East Beach Causeway’s intersection at Demere Road with a roundabout, while regulatory problems have slowed a similar project at East Beach Causeway and Ocean Boulevard, Austin explained.
Early plans for improvements to the Altama Connector to improve traffic flow near the Ga. 25 Spur will be presented to the county commission next month, Austin explained. He added that Public Works doesn’t plan to start at any particular time of year, as no matter when they start working it’s going to be tough on traffic.
A project to improve drainage in the Pier Village on St. Simons Island is also facing difficulty but is progressing, he said.
A new Glynn County Animal Control shelter is still on hold due to a lack of funds, Austin said.
Committee member Jane Fraser asked if the county could use its own funds to make up the difference. Austin said that would be a decision for the Glynn County Commission to make.
He added that, before construction can begin on the new shelter, the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission needs to upgrade a sewer pump station. Austin said county officials are working with the JWSC on how best to get that done.
Finally, he said a new veterans memorial park slated for downtown Brunswick is very close to being advertised for construction.
Next, Brunswick City Manager Jim Drumm spoke to the committee.
“The first (SPLOST) project is to mill and pave various streets, and we’re paving all over the city,” Drumm said.
Brunswick has completed a lot of repaving on the south end of the city, he explained, and it’s working on other parts.
A project to repave L Street, which currently has a section of the road shut down, started this month. As the city was stripping the pavement, he said workers found bricks. City officials hope to use them to replace missing bricks in downtown.
A cooperative endeavor between the city, county and Golden Isles Convention and Visitors Bureau to install new way-finding and gateway signs in on hold. All three are still hoping to find an organization or multiple organization to partner with them on the project.
Moving on to parks, Drumm said installation of a splash pad in Mary Ross Waterfront Park is scheduled for April while an effort to close George Street and reunite the two halves of Wright Square is currently on hold pending right-of-way abandonment by the Glynn County School Board.
The city also came in under budget on the purchase of 15 new police cars with SPLOST funds.
JWSC Engineering Director Todd Kline gave the committee updates on the utility’s two projects.
The utility is preparing to start designing the final phase of a major north mainland sewer rerouting project, and expects to put construction out to bid in early 2020, Kline said.
The second project, to overhaul and upgrade a sewer pump station in downtown Brunswick, will likely be designed in the fall with construction beginning in October.
Jekyll Island Authority Executive Director Jones Hooks said all of the authority’s SPLOST items are repaving projects, and the authority currently has a request for proposal on 1.4 miles of repaving waiting for bids.
Jekyll Island has spent a total of $850,429 of it’s allotted $2.3 million. Hooks said the authority has been staggering its projects to it can get multiple competitive bids on each one.
The committee also discussed its SPLOST 2016 progress report.
Ron Perry said the cover to the report was misleading, as it listed a number of projects as ‘in-progress’ when there hadn’t been any dirt turned on them.
“It’s misleading to the public … If you have 15 projects that, for 2020, are undetermined, that’s not in-progress, really,” Perry said. “I don’t think the public considers the design stage ‘in-progress.’”
He asked if the county’s SPLOST projects list could be updated to differentiate between projects that are in construction and those that are still in the planning or design phases. County spokesperson Matthew Kent said it could be done.
Committee members agreed to schedule their next two meetings for June 25 and Aug. 28.