I worked on and supported the roundabouts project near our schools. At the time, I assumed the city would do the work as was engineered and approved by the council, the Georgia Department of Transportation, and State Sen. Blake Tillery who helped me secure a grant to fund much of the cost of the project.
But, when I got off the council in January of last year, those engineering plans were scrapped as Mayor Bayne Stone took over the project.
As a result, the roundabout at Pat Dixon Road and Collins Street is much smaller than was planned before I left office. It is dangerous.
I fear there will be an accident there and someone will get hurt. The roundabout is so small that vehicles can fly through the roundabout without even slowing down.
Additionally, safety signage alerting drivers that they must yield to traffic in the roundabout was scrapped. Signs that drivers should slow down, were scrapped.
Originally, the plans called for attractive, stamped concrete in the middle of the roundabout. That, too, was scrapped and plants were placed in the roundabout with insufficient planning. It appears no fabric was put down for weed control. And now, both roundabouts are an eyesore in the middle of our community’s beautiful schools as weeds have infested the shrubbery.
Plans were drawn up by a horticulturalist with appropriate plants with blue and yellow/gold flowers to coordinate with the school system’s Yellow Jacket blue and gold theme. But that plan was ignored.
When I got off the council I wrote that the city was in chaos. The sabotaging of the roundabout project fits in with that chaos.
As does the fiasco at the Yellow Jacket Car Wash where the mayor took over the project from the engineering firm that drew up the plans and, as a result, concrete was poured in the wrong place sabotaging that project as well. The cost to fix it? It’s claimed it will be less than $8,000. That’s $8,000 too much. It never should have happened.
When I was on the council, we had some $250,000 in the bank for downtown streetscape. That’s gone.
I asked for another $100,000 for downtown streetcape to be included in the lates SPLOST referendum. The mayor switched it to the golf course.
We also approved $10,000 in facade grants — up to $5,000 matching grants to two businesses. One of the businesses spent $10,000 on improvements and was to get $5,000 from the city through the grant. That was a year ago. The business still doesn’t have its money.
The fact that there were two different groups simultaneously under the impression the city would lease Dr. Johnson’s former office building to them is yet another example of the chaos at city hall.
Oh, and there’s more. Much more. But I’m out of room.