Editor, News has been circulating around Midway that McDonald’s and a convenience store will be opening next to Holton’s Seafood Restaurant on East Oglethorpe Highway at I-95. The city of Midway and Liberty County have given their approvals. Now, for the bad news — the Georgia Department of Transportation has decided that there needs to be a new turn lane in that area, which will cost $175,000.
Typical of higher government, GDOT has mandated that this lane be added before they will approve the project. Of course, GDOT will not supply the required funding for this additional lane.
The restaurant location is not owned by McDonald’s, so there are no deep pockets here to pick, and the city of Midway doesn’t have these kinds of funds just sitting around. The McDonald’s operator who owns this location said that he can’t afford to spend this amount of money, which was not planned and would over-extend his budget.
Why should the city have to scramble to get the funding or lose 60 potential jobs and a needed restaurant at that location? What good is it to have a city when a state agency steps all over the city, causing financial problems that the state agency won’t resolve?
Will Liberty County step up and help its Gateway City? The Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission doesn’t have that answer, and it might be too late to pull a rabbit out of the hat.
GDOT says that this is a safety issue. If this is such a safety issue, why didn’t GDOT address this problem long ago so that money could be set aside for future growth? Did GDOT not think that this area would develop? Oh, sorry. Government agencies aren’t there to think, just to mandate unfunded projects.
— Len Calderone