Coweta Commission

County may merge road departments

by Sarah Fay Campbell

alt

Road Department Director Bill Cawthorne, left, Transportation and Engineering Director Tod Handley, center, and Associate County Administrator Eddie Whitlock speak to the Coweta County Commissioners about a proposal to merge the two departments. 


For more than 30 years, Coweta County’s Road Department has been housed at the county prison, behind the guard line.

“It’s not conducive to interaction with the public. It’s good for security, but the facility does not meet the current need or future needs,” said Coweta Associate Administrator Eddie Whitlock at the recent work session of the Board of Commissioners.

The county’s heavy equipment shop and auto shop are also highly inadequate for current and future needs according to Whitlock.

Whitlock proposed merging the Road Department and the Transportation and Engineering Department into a new Department of Transportation for the county, citing the need for two such departments to merge.

In addition to building new facilities, the county also needs a new heavy equipment shop and auto shop. The two would be located in one facility but divided.

“Transportation and Engineering currently handles timber harvesting permits, which require building a logging road, just because the road department is behind the guard line,” said Tod Handley, director of transportation and engineering.

The two departments also work together on drainage issues, and as the county continues to develop, there will be more road projects, more traffic signals and more signage.

Cawthorne noted that upon coming to Coweta 25 years ago, there were 13 road department employees, not including prison inmates. Now there are 60, including the Environmental Management Department.

There are three bays at the auto shop currently and, according to Sherrif Yeager, at least four more are needed.

This is no funding for the new department or shop, and money from the fund balance reserve may have to be used instead, according to County Administrator Michael Fouts.

If Transportation and Engineering move, the current space in the County Administration Building would be available for demolition or remodeling, according to Whitlock. The office has 2,500 square feet, a lobby, seven offices, restrooms and a conference room.


“We have met with the city and may have some opportunities going forward to expand some parking, maybe some joint ventures with them,” Whitlock said.



More Local

Gray found guilty of rape

Guilty was the verdict reached in the sleepwalking rape trial of Benjamin Gray. After three hours after beginning their deliberation, the ju ... Read More


Sexsomnia or rape? Verdict in jury’s hands

Closing arguments in the sleepwalking rape trial of Benjamin Gray concluded Friday. Coweta County Assistant District Attorney Herb Cranford ... Read More


118 Newnan High students tested for TB

More than a hundred tuberculosis exposure tests were administered at Newnan High School on Friday, as earlier in the week a NHS student was ... Read More


Senoia man arrested after fleeing from officer

A Senoia area man was arrested Tuesday and taken to the Coweta County Jail after allegedly leading a Coweta County sheriff's deputy on a hig ... Read More


UPDATE

Wreck victim in fair condition

James Hand, who was injured in a motor vehicle crash Thursday morning, was listed in fair condition Friday at Atlanta Medical Center. Hand w ... Read More

Prescribed burn smokes out Lake Redwine

A large fire that brought days of smoke and acrid smells to the Lake Redwine area was a prescribed burn that was done in accordance with cur ... Read More