TIFTON — Bishop Tim Pratt asked the Tift County Board of Commissioners to repair roads damaged by “water lines that have been rupturing continually for years” in the Kings Heights area, at the workshop meeting Aug. 6
“This is a recurring problem that’s been going on our community for year.” said Pratt. “Tearing the roads up, putting bad patches on the pavement. And our community looks like we don’t even pay any taxes.”
Pratt cited several streets with continual issues: Wilson Street, King Drive, Hillcrest Circle and Kennedy Avenue. He also raised concerns about the safety of the water.
At the Aug. 5 Tifton City Council meeting, Pratt spoke to council members about the ruptured lines.
“They explained to me they were rupturing because they hadn’t replaced all the old water lines…We got a timeline from them that the problems going to be fixed in about three months,” said Pratt.
To get to the pipes to fix or replace them, parts of the road will have to be dug up.
“Once they fix the water lines, because our streets are not in the city, they don’t bear the responsibility to repave the streets,” said Pratt. “All they have to do is patch. That’s not going to help our roads.”
Pratt asked the commission to consider a paving project for the roads that would be dug up.
“Due to the lines being ripped up year after year after year, our roads are horrible…There’s no excuse for us to have to deal with this over and over and over,” said Pratt.
“We may not pay the taxes of Quail Hollow or Tift West, but we want decent roads, too,” Pratt added.
“This here, it ain’t right,” said commissioner Greg Wood. “We spent $300,000 going back and fixing patches in that community that should have been fixed.
“The city oversees the water department. They should be fixing this…Y’all deserve the same in this neighborhood as any other neighborhood.”
“Commissioner [Donnie] Hester and I ride these roads every day,” said commissioner Melissa Hughes. “That’s one of the reasons we have some words back and forth with the city because it’s not equal across the board.”
“We’re trying to work on something,” said Hester. “I don’t know if it’s going to work or not…We’re doing what we can do. We’re trying to get those roads and waterlines [fixed].”
Historical Preservation Commission
Caroline Day, Dr. Homer Day and Ambrose King, joined by other community members as well as Urban Redevelopment Agency director Bruce Green, asked the board to appoint and adopt a Tift County Historic Preservation Commission for South Tifton that would create historic districts within the Unionville and Phillipsburg areas.
According to Green, designating the area as its own distinct historic district would help preserve the distinct historic and cultural nature of the neighborhood by placing a protective covenant over the area. This covenant would make it easier for homeowners and property owners to get grants to rehabilitate and restore houses while creating a series of guidelines for what will and will not be allowed.
“If we want people to invest and take risks in South Tifton, it’s one of our tools,” said Green.
County manager Jim Carter asked for “time to do our homework” before establishing a commission.
“How we lay the foundation of the historical preservation group is important,” said Carter.
“We’re going to continue to meet, to gather historical data,” said King.
The group made a similar request at the city council meeting Aug. 5, asking for South Tifton to be designated as a historic district.
The county is hosting a tire amnesty event, planned for Aug. 16-17, 8 a.m. through 5 p.m.
Tift County residents will be able to bring scrap tires to Tift County Public Works Department at 2011 Whiddon Mill Road.
Those tires can only be passenger, tractor trailer or front and rear farm tractor tires, according to county staff. No heavy equipment tires or ‘skidded’ tires will be accepted, nor will scrap tires from retail tires dealers or commercial scrap tire generators.
The event is being funded through Georgia Environmental Protection Division grant.
The board also considered
• A $300 fee for people applying for an alcohol catering license.
• Change orders requested by the Tifton Judicial Circuit Shelter for the new Ruth’s Cottage and the Patticake House facility, affecting the project budget by $99,956.
• A services agreement with Georgia Department of Transportation for Tift Lift for Fiscal Year 2019-20. The grant is a 50/50 match, with both federal and local funds of $113,562.
• Tift Regional Health Systems is asking to enter in to an agreement with the county that would allow to participate in a 340B drug discount program
The next meeting of the Tift County Board of Commissioners is 6 p.m., Aug. 12 at the Charles Kent Administration Building, 225 N. Tift Avenue.