Through an agreement with Carroll County, paving will begin Monday in the Dogwood Trace subdivision. Homeowners living in the subdivision have been seeking the city’s help for several years regarding its roads and other issues associated with the developer’s absence.
“It’s been the desire of myself and the council to address these issues with roads that have not been topped for a long time,” Mayor J. Collins said. “We understand the frustration on the part of some of our constituents and we want our constituents to understand that what was created was the perfect storm where you had financial institution that went out of business, you had developers that went broke, bonds that were no good, some lapsed, some didn’t. It’s just been a variety of issues.”
City officials recently met with Carroll County Commission Chairman Bill Chappell and Public Works Director Charles Pope to discuss the possibility of the county helping get some of the roads paved in these subdivisions. Chappell agreed to provide the equipment and labor in exchange for the city funding the asphalt and fuel costs associated with the paving.
A total of $127,000 was approved Tuesday by the council to be taken out of SPLOST funds that were earmarked for another project that will not be complete this year to finish paving the roads in Dogwood Trace — which the county has already agreed to do — as well as Bay Springs East and one road in the Reserve at Reid Plantation.
“We rode around the Dogwood Trace and Bay Springs East subdivisions with Chairman Chappell and his roads superintendent last week and checked out the roads that had not been topped off,” City Manager Larry Wood said. “Their roads superintendent got back with me after that meeting and told me their estimates for buying the asphalt. What they want us to do is pay for the asphalt and the fuel their equipment will use and they provide the manpower and equipment to actually spread the asphalt down.”
According to Wood, the Dogwood Trace project would have cost the city about $100,000 if it had been contracted out, but with the partnership with the county it will cost about $60,000 — a savings of 40 percent.
“These residents are Villa Rica residents, but they also pay Carroll County taxes and this is just a way the chairman is willing to help us because he knows these are his constituents as well,” Collins said. “Plus the fact that they have a slow down too and that department is able to do these kinds of things. We’ve been slow, they’ve been slow, and they’re able to step up to the plate.”
Collins said he’s also reached out to Douglas County Commission Chairman Tom Worthan about entering into a similar agreement to top the roads in the Northwoods and Southwoods subdivisions of the Mirror Lake community. Though Worthan had yet to agree, Collins said he did express interest in doing so and was planning to meet with his county manager and transportation director about the request.
“He expressed a lot of interest and he felt that Douglas County could do the same thing for our residents there,” Collins said.
If an agreement is indeed reached with Douglas County, the council approved using $120,000 for the Douglas County paving that would have gone into the city’s reserve account.