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County approves bid for resurfacing
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The Newton County Board of Commissioners at their meeting Tuesday approved a low bid contract with ER Snell Contractor for $492,392.96 for the resurfacing of Kirkland Road.

County engineer Tom Garrett said the project includes resurfacing about 2.5 miles of Kirkland Road from Jack Neely Road to Salem Road.

He said a total of five bids were received for the project from Pittman Construction in the amount of $521,895.50, C.W. Mathews Contracting Co. for $551,984.79, Stewart Brothers, Inc. for $608,733 and Sunbelt Asphalt Surfaces for $651,041.
According to the bid from ER Snell Contractor, the roads will be resurfaced with recycled asphalt concrete and then re-striped.

Garrett said the project is funded with funds from the 2011 SPLOST revenues. Chairman Kathy Morgan will send a notice of award to ER Snell Contractor and contract documents to proceed with the project.

In other business, the board also approved accepting $105,000 in state aid funds from the Georgia Department of Transportation to help fund replacing Mt. Tabor Bridge. Garrett said the contract was reviewed by the county attorney's office and he recommended for the board to approve the contract with the stipulations in the contract.

Commissioner Nancy Schulz asked Garrett when construction would start on the project and how it would affect citizens. She said the bridge right now is already closed to truck and bus traffic.

"What will we be asking the residents to do and for how long?" Schulz asked. "I know it will be an inconvenience to them."

Garrett told the board that they hope to receive bids for the project by their second board meeting in November. He said they hope to begin construction in January.

"The construction is seven to nine months and during that time, the bridge will be closed," he said. "There will be a detour established for residents during that period of time."

In other business, the board of commissioners gave Newton County Water Resources permission to apply for a Georgia Environmental Finance Authority loan for solar-powered reservoir circulators. The $810,986.20 GEFA loan will fund solar-powered reservoir circulators from Solar Bee, a company that will distribute and install the circulators.

At a county commission meeting in September, Jason Nord, director of Newton County Water Resources, said solar-powered reservoir circulators would be placed in Lake Varner and City Pond to monitor the water in order to create better water quality at the lakes. Nord said monitoring the lakes would also help cut down on the cost of water treatment chemicals.