County road work on hold until July

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 25, 2010

NATCHEZ — Now that the Adams County Road Department has completed the work on Deer Lake Road, crews are waiting until the bid on asphalt goes into effect July 1 to continue work.

The Adams County Board of Supervisors voted Monday to award W.E. Blain and Sons a six-month contract for asphalt supplies on the recommendation of the purchasing office.

Road Manager Clarence “Curley” Jones said the supervisors and himself will work together to decide which of White Oak Drive, Cardinal Drive, Old Meadville Road, Dunbarton Road, Knotts Road, Parkway Road and Reba Christian Road will be next on the road department’s agenda.

Board President Darryl Grennell said the board’s mission is to get as many roads asphalted as possible during the summer months.

“You always want to overlay during warmer months because the asphalt takes better,” Grennell said.

There could be a delay, however, as Jones said there was only enough money in the budget to complete two more roads. Grennell said he hopes the a bond issuance will allow the work to continue with as little pause as possible.

“Hopefully, when we meet with (Financial Advisor) Demery Grubbs, he will be able to get us some money so we can continue this process without any interruption,” Grennell said.

The county has been struggling to put together a solid financial picture for Moody’s Investors Service, the company that sets ratings and recently downgraded the county’s bond rating. If the board is able improve the county’s rating, supervisors will take out a $6 million bond to improve the county’s roads.

“I am really optimistic that we can get it changed,” Grennell said. “Eight or nine years ago, we sat down with Moody’s, and it came out favorable.”

Though Grennell expects it to work out, the county does have a backup plan.

“If the bond rating does not change, there is a plan B,” Grennell said. “Demery indicated to me at last week’s supervisor meeting that he had another idea to get the money.”

Grubbs said he was working on some options other than a road bond issuance, but that he was not able to be specific at this time.

Grennell said it was important to spend this money improving the roads now, so the county can save money in the long run.

“There is a need to prevent roads from getting further damage,” Grennell said. “The more cracks you get in a road, the more water that can seep in, and you end up spending more money in the long run getting road re-built.”

For overlay jobs requiring 50 to 200 tons of asphalt, the price per ton is $43.

For jobs requiring 200 to 500 tons of asphalt, the price per ton is $28.

For jobs requiring more than 500 tons of asphalt, the price per ton is $19.