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Pot Holes and Paving……

pothole funny

I have had more than the normal phone calls lately over some bad roads in Hawkinsville.   Almost all of the conversations start like this…

Citizen:  “The city needs to come out and repave the road in front of my house.   It’s in bad shape and me and my neighbors pay our taxes and deserve better roads.”

Let me just start out by saying, “They are right!”.   However, it is not as easy as just sending out a crew..   For starters, the City of Hawkinsville does not have a paving machine or paving crew.   Our guys can certainly fix a pothole or repair a road cut.  But we don’t have the resources to actually pave or even resurface a road.   In order to do that, we rely on the state Department of Transportation (GDOT).    GDOT allocates so much money to us each year to use toward resurfacing.   In 2014 that amount was $48,719.74.   We are required to do a 30% match, so that means we have $63,336 allocated toward resurfacing in 2014.   We then submit a list of roads (in priority order) that we feel need resurfacing.  The top 15 list we submitted for 2014 was:

Name Start End Distance Width
1 Markel St. Martin St. Lakeview Rd. 1753 20
2 Hillcrest Ave. McCormick Ave end of street (Clark Dr) 1409 20
3 Jordan Drive Sunnybrook Circle Sunnybrook Circle
4 W. McDuffie St. McCormick Ave. Brookside 682 22
5 Ryan St. Broad St. Commerce St.
6 S. Union St. Broad St. Carruthers St. 3646 20
7 Kibbee Turner St. Jackson St. 2447 25
8 Second Street Progress Ave. Houston St. 2535 37
9 Liberty St S. Florida Ave. Warren St. 2419 30
10 Clark Dr. Hillcrest Dr. Kamellia Dr. 1223 19
11 Fairgrounds Rd. S. Jackson St. County Landing Rd. 2100 17
12 Wildwood Ave Mansfield Dr. Craftway Cir. 2432 20
13 Craftway Cir. Wildwood Ave. Thompson Way 1314 20
14 South Wood St. Broad Street Commerce Street
15 Pineywood Drive Knotty Pine St. end of street

(This list is compiled from our street department as well as citizen complaints and then prioritized by the City Administration and the City Commissioners).

It costs us an estimated average of $0.56 per square foot to resurface (some more, some less depending on current road conditions and other factors).   So once we find out how much money the state is going to allocate for us, then we have to re-prioritize our list to see that we get the most bang for our buck.   We have to consider such questions as: Do we pave ONE long road, or several smaller roads, even if the long road is in worse condition?  How many citizens actually live on that road?  Is it a thoroughfare to other areas? Can we temporarily patch it and get by another year?

For 2014, we ending up having enough funds to do:

1 Markel St. Martin St. Lakeview Rd. 1753 20
2 Hillcrest Ave. McCormick Ave end of street (Clark Dr) 1409 20
3 Jordan Drive Sunnybrook Circle Sunnybrook Circle
4 W. McDuffie St. McCormick Ave. Brookside 682 22

It is estimated that it will cost the city (and GDOT) $66,000 to complete these projects.

In order to complete any additional roads, they would have to be paid for 100% by our local tax dollars.   By waiting on each years GDOT allocation, we get much more for our local dollars (with the state contributing 70% of our cost).   While we know there are other roads that need paving, we also have many other infrastructure needs to pay for as well.  And on the other infrastructure needs, the state gives us no help.  Thus the local taxpayers have to pay 100% of the other costs.    So it makes more sense to only pave the roads each year that GDOT will help us with and put our other limited resources toward the other infrastructure needs.   If we DON’T do at least the amount that GDOT approves, they will not pay ANY!  So we need to at least do enough roads each year in order to get their 70% contribution.   Anything OVER our total, we would have to pay 100% for.

I was sitting at McDonald’s the other day with one of the “coffee clubs” that meet there.   They took the opportunity to tell me of all the needs in the city of Hawkinsville.   For example, they want us to fix all the roads, replace all the old water and sewage lines, and invest heavily in industrial recruitment (among other things).  But most importantly, don’t raise taxes.   In other words, their request was to correct outstanding problems (aka spending money) while not raising taxes (aka increasing revenue).   An impossibility.   We operate under a TIGHT, LEAN budget.  So in order to do any additional work each year (pave additional roads, replace additional pipes, etc.) would require MORE revenue (aka higher taxes).

So, I am writing this post to assure you, our citizens, that we are doing our very best to correctly, efficiently, and effectively allocate the limited resources that we have.   Do we have bad roads? YES.   Can we afford to simply repair/resurface them all now?  NO.   We simply take our list each year, (again, compiled from our street department and citizen complaints) and prioritize and fund based on the dollar amounts that GDOT allocates to Hawkinsville each year.

If you know of a bad street, let us know.  Our crews have spent the last two weeks repairing MANY of the potholes around town, but I am positive there are more.   Call City Hall (478-892-3240) or simply email City Hall ( or you can even reply to this post.   We will look at the road, add it to our list, and then consider it when we re-prioritize each year.

Pot holes and patches?  YES, we can do those ourselves, so again, LET US KNOW.   Sometimes, the worse the condition, the LESS people report it.   I suppose they feel that “surely someone has told the city how bad this pothole is.”  But if everyone is thinking someone else is reporting it…  well,… sometimes NO ONE reports it.   Also, not all roads are city maintained.  Some are STATE roads, and some that get reported are actually COUNTY roads.   But let us know and we will pass along the information to the appropriate agency or government.


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