The idea of a street number ordinance for houses has been on the table for quite some time now and the Upson County Board of Commissioners are one step closer to completing the plan. Chairman Rusty Blackston asked the board to study the latest information they were given on the issue and note any changes they would like to see to the proposed ordinance. He noted that having your street number displayed on your property would be voluntary in 2014, but once the ordinance was approved, it would become mandatory in 2015.
The board was originally approached in 2009 about the idea of a mandatory numbering of houses by emergency personnel who noted that it is critical to be able to find a house quickly whether it is because of a fire or a person having a heart attack. There has been much discussion over the last few years and a big issue has been determining how to implement the ordinance. County Manager Jim Wheeless told the board that approving the ordinance is the first phase of the project and the next phase is going to be the hardest.
“This is the first phase and the hardest phase is going to be phase two,” stated Wheeless. “Phase two is the implementation and we just ask all citizens to bear with us.”
Wheeless also updated the board on the 2014 LMIG (Local Maintenance Improvement Grant) which is money from the state that goes towards paving or repaving roads in Upson County. He stated this year the county is eligible for $418,867.75 and he had spoken with Road Superintendent James Melton about what roads need attention. They agreed that Rocky Bottom Road from Delray Road to Piedmont Road is in need as well as Triune Mill Road from the city limits to Windsweep Farm Road.
However, he noted that the county cannot receive any new money until they have the 30 percent match on the current LMIG. The roads on that list must be finished by December also before the 2014 funding can be turned over.
In reference to the LMIG funding, Commissioner Steve Hudson stated he wanted to express to the citizens the magnitude of having a SPLOST. Hudson stated the county receives money from the state for these types of projects, which we would not get without being able to have matching funds. He continued saying that is through the SPLOST dollars that the county is able to come up with the match and finish the projects.
Also during the meeting, Upson EMS Director Richard Lee gave the board his quarterly report. Lee stated the call volume had dropped off greatly for the month of September and he hopes that it is because people are not as sick and not some other issue. He also told the board the EMS had just finished one of the first classes with the jail personnel to be certified in CPR and first aid. The EMS is working with the sheriff to get new first aid kits in all patrol cars and for the jail also. He hopes to have those in place within the next week or so.
In other business, the board approved a contract with Hitson Sod for the irrigation and sod of the t-ball fields at the Civic Center. Their bid was $36,200 and Wheeless noted there is enough money left from the 2005 SPLOST to cover the project. He stated the project needed to also be completed soon before the frost starts.
Finally, Wheeless told the board that everything is lined up for Atwater Road and paving should begin soon.