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Porterdale looks to improve Ivy Street
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The Porterdale City Council heard cost estimates for road and drainage improvements they would like to make to Ivy Street at Monday night's council meeting.

Marty Boyd of Carter & Sloope Consulting Engineers presented concept drawings of intersection, roadway and sidewalk improvements and landscaping to the crossing of Ivy and Hemlock Streets as well as probable expenditures on the work to the council Monday.

Boyd presented costs between $184,835 and $269,060, depending on what the council wanted to do with the intersection.

"It could really be an example of what you want to do with other roads in the town," Boyd said.

Milling 6 inches of asphalt and 2 inches of concrete and then overlaying 2 inches of asphalt will cost around $96,000, and abandoning and replacing storm sewer inlets and piping could cost as much as $75,000 if they are in bad condition.

Boyd said he needed the city’s public works crew to help him look at the condition of the sewer to see what needed repair or replacement. He also needed to take a few core samples of the road to determine the condition of the road base. Complete removal of asphalt and concrete, base reclamation and repaving with 6 inches of concrete if the base is not sound could cost more than $241,000 compared to around $100,000 if it is. Boyd said that surface cracks were not evident and that was a good sign for the condition of the base.

Additional options the council is considering are whether to add a 2-inch ultra thin concrete paving instead of asphalt to be more historically accurate, brick pavers in the intersection roadway, lamps, park benches, trash receptacles and speed humps.

"This decision really is an important one because it is going to impact all other road improvements we do in Porterdale," said Councilwoman Arline Chapman.

Boyd said that the council should consider applying for a Community Development Block Grant especially if they wanted to extend sidewalks from Ga. Highway 81 to the Depot, up Hemlock and down to the ball fields.

"When we have downtown functions, it would be so nice to have that," said Councilwoman Linda Finger.

Boyd said that to make the grant application more competitive the council could bill it as phase II of what the Georgia Department of Transportation has already helped fund in the exterior renovation of the Depot for the purposes of a trail head. He said trail connectivity would make the application more attractive.

"It would certain stretch your dollars a lot further," he said.

In other news from Monday night’s Porterdale City Council meeting:

• Councilwoman Linda Finger gave an update on the recently passed animal control ordinance. So far the council has purchased more than 15 cat traps for Newton County Animal Control with the fees the city has collected for registering pets as well as fines collected for ordinance violations. Currently, approximately $835 is in the pet ordinance account and Finger made a motion that the money be used to purchase two dog traps for the shelter. The motion was seconded and unanimously approved by the council.

• Because Thanksgiving falls on the day of the council’s regularly scheduled work session, the council elected to move the date of the work session up a week to Nov. 19. The council will also hold a special called meeting on that date in order to hold a public hearing on the town’s comprehensive plan as well as the FY11 budget, vote on the lease agreement for the city hall annex, vote on the transfer of vacant lots from the Downtown Development Authority to the city for public use and vote on a city homestead tax exemption. The council needed more information and more time to consider many of the agenda items for the special called meeting.

• The annual Porterdale Christmas in the Village celebration is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4. Santa and his reindeer will again make an appearance.