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Liberty commission OKs Wild Heron Road bid
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The Liberty County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved a $189,812 bid for improvements to Wild Heron Road, but the group tabled action on a bid for Rye Patch Road so some questions can be answered.

T.R. Long Engineering engineer Gabe Smith presented the bids.

Six bids were received for two options of roadway improvements to Wild Heron Road, and Smith recommended the board accept the low-bid from Littlefield Construction for the option that included curb and gutter.
Funds for that project will come from the district road-maintenance budget.

The work includes erosion and sedimentation control, grading and drainage, and paving, according to a bid sheet provided by Smith.

His second item, a lump bid for the widening of Rye Patch Road that also included patching overlays for various other parts of the county, received more scrutiny from the board. It decided to hold off on authorizing the contract until the mid-month meeting.

Smith said the sole bidder for the Rye Patch project was Ellis Wood Contracting, with a contract amount of $363,255. The road will be widened from 20 feet to 24 feet, and about $123,000 will be covered by LMIG funds while the remainder will come from about $2.8 million in SPLOST funds earmarked for countywide road improvements.

The work also included about $41,000 for several other roads receiving overlay, including Interstate Paper Road, Seabrook Island Road at $22,000, as well as small-section overlays for Dairy, Wells Cemetery, Mitchell, Mobley, Camellia, Cattle Hammock and Sunshine Lake roads.

District 6 Commissioner Eddie Walden and District 1 Commissioner Marion Stevens Sr. asked whether the repair areas for Interstate Paper Road included portions within the city limits of Riceboro.
“Interstate Paper might want to help us with the roadway, and also, part of it is in the city limits of Riceboro,” Stevens said.

“Well, if it’s in the city limits of Riceboro, wouldn’t it be their responsibility?” District 4 Commissioner Pat Bowen asked.

 Stevens said he has not spoken with the city about the particular bid, but said the last time the county did work to the road, the paper company chipped in. He volunteered to speak with the city about them partnering to fund the work in a three-way split.  

Repairs to four areas of areas of Islands Highway that were affected by the recent heavy equipment move from Halfmoon Marina to Firth Rixson also are included, Smith said, but three of the four areas are not county expenses.

“There was no damage to the culverts,” Smith said. “They were inspected by a structural engineer before and after the move; what we believe has happened was on the road beyond the culvert, the asphalt was pushed down a little bit and it caused it to come up another area.”

Walden asked who the engineer was who inspected, and Smith said he did not know.

“We’re fixing to go get in a bid for a contractor, and you don’t have very much information. I just want to know where we’re spending the money at,” Walden said.

County administrator Joey Brown said the bids are good for 90 days from the open-date, which was last week.

The board also held a public hearing for its fiscal-year 2014 budget, which is slated for adoption on June 20. The proposed budget is $26.4 million dollars, up about $124,000 from the previous year.
The board also authorized a bid with the Coastal Georgia Area Community Action Authority to prepare and deliver lunches at a rate of $2.82 per meal for the county’s summer lunch program. The program will begin serving lunches on Monday, with 19 sites registered to participate, according to program director David Floyd.

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