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Council moves forward with 15th Street repairs


Nathan Gregory



Columbus councilmen approved bids from APAC to repave and repair 15th Street South during their meeting Tuesday. 


The project will cost approximately $122,800. 


The road is heavily used by industrial traffic coming to and from Columbus' APAC plant, as well as facilities for concrete supplier MMC Materials and Waste Pro. The contract consists of three phases: repairing base failures from when Columbus Light and Water dug into the road to install a six-inch water main; repairing portions of the road that have caved in due to poor drainage and the outdated previous water main; and milling, repaving and striping the road. 


CL&W has verbally agreed to foot the bill for the first portion in the amount of $37,421. The city's share will be $85,377 for the other two projects.  


Prior plans were to have the base faults repaired in house and take bids just for paving. 


Because each of the three industries commonly use the road, they have each agreed to donate materials toward its repair. APAC is donating asphalt, while MMC is providing crushed concrete and Waste Pro is donating geotextile fabric that will protect soil and help with drainage. 


The city's share will be paid from its general fund and not from a $5 million bond issue it approved last month for road and infrastructure upgrades. 




Utility permit fees approved 


Utility providers locating service lines in city rights of way will now have to pay $300 to obtain a permit before doing so.  


There had previously not been a fee on the books to be granted the right to install electric, fiber, cable or gas lines on city rights of way.  


The new policy is designed to offset the cost of digging into city rights of way and includes a mandatory $1,000 security deposit. The deposit is a means of making sure installers restore the portion of the right of way they interfered with to locate a utility line to the condition it was in previously. 


Lines have to be buried at least three feet and be separated at least 18 inches from other utility lines. It also reinforces the current requirement of showing city engineering consultants a plan of how and where they plan to dig before they're allowed to do so. 




Other business:  


■ The council voted in executive session to suspend three employees of the police department for three days without pay for deviating from standard operating procedures; 


■ The council accepted a new organizational chart for Columbus Police Department at the request of Police Chief Tony Carleton; 


■ The council agreed to a $5,500 match to a $230,000 grant for repairs at the Columbus-Lowndes County Airport. County supervisors have also agreed to pay the same amount as the council, while the Federal Aviation Administration is providing the remaining funds after awarding the grant application. Former director of federal programs Travis Jones applied for the grant last year.


Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.



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