Tyrone stands firm with GA. DOT

Fri, 07/17/2009 - 3:42pm
By: The Citizen

It is back to Georgia Dept. of Transportation (DOT) with a project proposal to close the CSX railroad crossing at Valleywood Road at Senoia Road and the extend Park Drive to East Crestwood. The Tyrone Town Council Thursday agreed to send revisions for the project back to DOT with the proposal that the town be responsible for a maximum of $225,000.

The town’s project estimate earlier this year carried an estimated price tag of $600,000, an amount all on the council found untenable, especially in the current economic climate. Some of the town’s 1-cent sales tax funds had been earmarked for the project.

Town attorney Dennis Davenport in May said the framework of the current DOT proposal had changed from what it had been when the town agreed to it in 2007, having gravitated to one where the town’s financial responsibility had increased. Davenport Thursday night said DOT did not think the town’s participation would exceed $225,000, adding that DOT would not agree to establishing a monetary cap. With that, council members decided to hold their ground and send the proposal back to DOT with a $225,000 ceiling.

The issue of closing the Valleywood crossing surfaced in 2007 and was initiated by the town after a double fatality at that location in 2001. The town in 2007 signed a Memorandum of Understanding with CSX and DOT to close the crossing and construct a new signalized crossing at West Crestwood to facilitate a higher degree of safety.

The council Thursday also approved the continued use of building inspection firm SAFEbuilt to perform the town’s building inspection services. Council members considered switching to Fayette County for the services but decided to stay with SAFEbuilt. While the cost was essentially not a factor, Mayor Don Rehwaldt said Friday that the council wanted to support a local business effort. SAFEbuilt had provided inspection services for some time, Rewaldt said, but the town for the past six months had no contract in force.

Council members Thursday approved the outfitting of a new children’s playground area at Handley Park with funds raised by the Tyrone Youth Baseball Association (TYBA). Public Works Director Renee Holt will supervise the installation.

TYBA’s fundraising efforts resulted in a total of $18,043 for the Playworld Systems playground equipment and installation. The component playground set includes features such as slides, a tree climber, an arch climber and a funnel tube. The project comes at no cost to the town.

The council also adopted a fallen tree policy that will seek reimbursement for expenses incurred when trees on private property fall onto the right-of-way. Essentially, the policy notes that it is the responsibility of the property owner to remove a tree, living or dead, that is at risk for falling onto the public right-of-way. The property owner will be responsible for removal and disposal costs.

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