Giles County Highway Committee Meeting Minutes October 20, 2022
Members Present: Tracy Wilburn, Shelly Goolsby, Joseph Sutton, Joyce Woodard, Roger Reedy, Matt Rubelsky, David Adams
Other Members Present: James Lathrop, Erin Curry, Brad Butler, David Womble, Rose Brown, Terry Jones, Gayle Jones, Annelle Gutherie
Also Present: Barry Hyatt, Steve Kelley, Erin Harmon, Joe and Brenda Walters, Frank and Dorothy Davis, John and Crispin Menefee,
Meeting called to Order by 9:00 am by Vice Chair Tracy Wilburn
Prayer led by Roger Reedy
Pledge of Allegiance by all
First Order of Business: Review of Minutes from July 14, 2022. Mr. Wilburn ask the committee if there are any changes or corrections that need to be made. Joyce Woodard makes a motion to approve the minutes. Roger Reedy seconds the motion. All are in favor. Motion is passed.
Second Order of Business: Blue Creek Speed Limit Petition: Residents from Blue Creek, North Fork and South Fork have petitioned the Highway Department to post a speed limit of 35 MPH. Mr. Hyatt stated that the Highway Department was in support of posting this speed limit. Mr. Wilburn ask if there are anyone in the audience that would like to speak. Brenda Walters, Crispin Menefee and Frank Davis all spoke to say that the road is barely wide enough for two cars to pass, there are several blind curves throughout. Traffic has increased over the years as that part of our community is becoming new homes to several and lots of new builds going on. They would like to ask for at least a 40 MPH speed limit be posted if not less. They would also like to ask if in the blind curves if the speed could be deduced to 15 MPH. Mr. Hyatt agrees to the suggested speed limit of 35 MPH and all are in favor. Mr. Hyatt also states that once the road is posted the Highway Department can go back and look at the curves and asses the danger of them and post as necessary. Roger Reedy makes a motion to approve the speed limit at 35 MPH. David Adams seconds the motion. All are in favor. Motion is passed.
Third Order of Business: Gardner Road/Dixontown Road Speed Limit Petition: Joyce Woodard is supporting this petition. The petition as that a speed limit for 30 MPH be posted. Barry states that the Highway Department is in support of this petition. David Adams makes a motion to accept the speed limit petition. Joyce Woodard seconds the motion. All are in favor.
Fourth Order of Business: Charles Edward Jett Bridge Memorial- The family of Charles Edward Jett has petitioned the County to name a bridge in memory of him over Robertson Fork Creek on Abernathy Road. Mr. Jett was born February 28, 1943 and was raised in Lynnville, TN. He was a graduate of Jones High School in 1961 and was an avid football player throughout high school and awarded MVP his senior year and also awarded the Babe Ruth Award. He was drafted into the Army in November of 1964 and served his country until honorably discharged in October, 24, 1967. He earned the rank of SP5 and received the National Defense Medal of “Expert Rifle”. After his service to our country he returned home to work at Union Carbide in Columbia where he spent the next 32 years. Mr. Jett was also an auto mechanic and always spent time working on card for residents and friends in the Lynnville community. Mr. Jett made many notable contributions to the town of Lynnville serving multiple terms as Alderman. He was one of several that were instrumental in securing the TMHA water loan for Lynnville. He served and V. Mayor and Mayor for the city of Lynnville. He was presented the Outstanding Alumni Award by the Robert B. Jones Alumni Association in 2015. In 2017 he was awarded the Most Beautiful Persons of Giles County by the Round Hill African Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Charles Edward Jett lived out his retired days with coffee and Soda Pop Junction and enjoying life on the farm. Mr. Jett passed July 8, 2021 while still serving his community as Alderman. Mr. Hyatt tells the committee that the Highway Department is in full support of this bridge dedication. Mr. Wilburn ask Barry to explain the guidelines for a Memorial Bridge. Mr. Hyatt tells the committee that we have a set of guidelines to follow for naming a bridge after someone. The family is required to pay for the signs but the Highway Department will place the signs due to traffic and sight distance. Also Mr. Hyatt would like to see the criteria revised. There is a lot of people in the county that do not meet the criteria because they weren’t in the military, a first responder or a person in the public eye but nevertheless they are a good person but still deserves the right to be recognized. Mr. Womble ask that when the committee meets to revise these guidelines he would like to hear discussion on setting a 20 -25 year reconsideration on the bridges. Mr. Wombles goes on to explain that as we name bridges in the county there are fewer and fewer left to be named and that by setting a 25 year limit on the bridge to be renamed it may help. There are many bridges where after that timeframe the family is no longer around to maintain or take care of the signs. Mr. Hyatt agrees and will bring that up. Roger Reedy will sponsor the petition and also makes a motion to accept it. David Adams seconds the motion. All are in favor.
Fifth Order of Business: Cost Increase of Highway Equipment and materials. Mr. Hyatt addresses the committee with information about our state aid program and bridge programs. Mr. Hyatt states that we are having to roll over our state aid paving funds because the cost of materials have gotten so high that the funds provided year to year are not enough. Rolling over the funds allows the Highway Department to utilize the funds in order to complete a road. The state does not to like roll over the funds more than 2 years. We have rolled our funds for 2 years now and we have approximately $464,469.31 that we are going to let roll over for a third time. Mr. Hyatt gives some examples such as Hurricane Creek Road that needs to be resurfaced is over $700,000.00 and Kerr Hill will be in the $600,000.00 range. Kerr Hill is the road that we will pave next because it has more traffic and is somewhat of a dangerous road. Mr. Hyatt states that right now we have an average cost of $152,000.00 on E mix road, $162,000.00 on D mix road and $142,000.00 on CW mix. Mr. Hyatt also states that they are going to try and work with the state on getting away to the D mix and using and E mix, but the state requires certain mixes depending on traffic count and speed limit conditions. This average cost depicts per ton per mile. Next Mr. Hyatt explains the double surface treatment roads. Currently we are around $56,000.00 per mile on our secondary roads where last year we were around $35,000.00. Mr. Hyatt also tells the committee that we are still working under our bridge program right now and we can match our bridge funds with state money and not have to use any local funds to match and that’s good for the County. Mr. Reedy ask Mr. Hyatt about the different Mixes and do they have a difference as far as age limit and how long they last? Mr. Hyatt states that the age limit on a road turns into a weather factor, a traffic factor and weight factor. Mr. Matt Rubelsky ask about raw materials and is there anything that we can produce ourselves to help with cost. Mr. Hyatt states that we are currently making our on Cold Mix and the price has went from $65.00 per ton to $95.00 per ton because of the oil prices rising so much. Also we grind our roads and reuse the material to build a good base and so when we shoot the road with new oil it makes a stronger, better road that will last longer. Mrs. Goolsby states that she travels the roads often and goes to a lot of the surrounding counties and that Giles County has the best out of them all. One of the main reasons Mr. Hyatt has brought the discussion to the commissioners about rolling monies over is because eventually the state will ask “Why are you not using your funds?” Mr. Hyatt’s answer is the road we are wanting to resurface was $200,000.00 last year and is now near $700,000.00 to complete now. Otherwise the Highway Department would be asking the county for more money in order to do what is needed. Mr. Hyatt states that the time is coming because the cost of maintaining the road system has outgrown this counties revenue. Mrs. Woodard ask about the rock pile at the Ag Park and Mr. Hyatt tells her that we are still using it as is. He is in works now with someone about coming in and crushing the rock there and instead of the County having to pay for expenses to be crushed, he will crush the rock and take half and the county keeps the other half. Mr. Hyatt states that he will come back to the committee with this if the person agrees to these terms.
Sixth Order of Business: Old/New Business- Barry would like to explain again the Safety Grant the County has been given for $250,000.00. He knows there are several new commissioners that wanted to know more about it. It is a safety grant that the state reaches out about on four roads in Giles County. The roads are: Rhea Branch Rd, Fall River Rd, Tackett Branch Rd and Pigeon Roost Rd. There is no matching money involved in this grant. Erin Curry elaborates on the grant. She tells the committee that it is a Local Road Safety Initiative through the TDOT safety office. They try to find around 25 miles, 4 -5 roads and involved signing, striping, and sometimes guardrails. It’s all based on crash numbers and traffic. TDOT has a database to retrieve these numbers. Mr. Hyatt states that the county can use this grant through the Highway Department and that the Highway Departments only requirement is that when the County accepts the grant that the Highway Department will be responsible for maintaining the signage for a 3 year period. Matt Rubelsky ask if there is any reason why we wouldn’t want the grant. The answer is no. There are lots of benefits that can come out of grants like this.
David Womble ask Barry to give an overview of how his department is funded for the new commissioners. Mr. Hyatt states that the Highway Department is funded locally with approximately 2.3 million dollars from local (property tax) dollars. Other funding comes from state and federal monies. One program that has really helped the county is the Improved Act and has helped more with our gas tax and gas tax revenue. Our gas tax revenue averages $240,000.00 per quarter which is about $1,000,000.00 per year. Mr. Hyatt states how that is a tremendous help. Other programs that he mentioned earlier also play a factor but Mr. Womble is correct in stating that we have a complex budget. Mr. Hyatt tells that the Highway Department is a line item budget and that there isn’t a lot of “other”. Mrs. Shelly Goolsby makes a motion to adjourn. David Adams seconds the motion. All are in favor. Meeting is adjourned.