12 December 2011 Work SessionHere are the minutes:
Abandonment of a Portion of Bethany Road, County Engineer, Mike Fletcher, presented a request by citizens for the abandonment of a portion of Bethany Road. Mr. Fletcher explained that the Commission was being asked to make an initial determination that either the section of the county road system has been ceased to be used by the public to the extent that no substantial purpose is served by it, or that its removal from the county road system is otherwise in the best public interest. Mr. Fletcher added that once the initial determination was made, staff would move forward with the appropriate advertising of a public hearing at which time the Commission could make a final decision.Here’s video in which County Engineer Mike Fletcher said the part of Bethany Road to be abandoned runs from Bethany Drive down through the Stith and Turner family properties towards Old US 41 North as far as the Rykard property, and that all residents would still have access out to other roads. County Manager Joe Pritchard noted that that second factor (“otherwise in the best public interest”) had been added to the law recently. The County Attorney nodded agreement.
13 December 2011 Regular SessionHere are the minutes:
Abandonment of a Portion of Bethany Road, County Engineer, Mike Fletcher, presented the request from citizens to abandon a portion of Bethany Road. Commissioner Powell made a motion to allow staff to move forward with advertising for a public hearing regarding the matter by determining that the section of the road system has ceased to be used by the public to the extent that no public purpose is served by it and that its removal from the county road system is otherwise in the best public interest, Commissioner Evans second. Motion carried.Here’s video, in which Mike Fletcher remarked:
In your agenda item there’s a typographical error. It is not the annual traffic counts, it is the daily traffic counts. It is 180. So our counts was 180 per day, not annual.Commissioner Raines wanted to clarify that they weren’t deciding to close the road right then. Commissioner Powell then made the motion as in the minutes.
9 January 2012 Work SessionNo minutes yet, but here is the agenda item:
7. Public Hearings-Abandonment of a portion of Bethany Road (CR 1271)Here’s video in which Mike Fletcher referred to it repeatedly as “Bethany Drive” as he referred to the 13 December 2011 Commission vote. He said the affected road was 2,314 feet long, and:
We took updated traffic counts on Bethany Road. We put two counters out. We put one counter at 41 and we put one counter at Bethany Drive. The counter at old 41 was 191. The counter at Bethany Drive was 174. So it looks like about 174 cars are using this as a cut-through to get over to Bethany Drive.He added that the only people who had contacted the county about the Bethany Road abandonment were utilities (Colquitt EMC and Georgia Power) wanting to be sure they can keep their easements.
10 January 2012 Regular SessionWe’ve got three videos of that session, which includes the public hearing with people speaking for and against, and a commissioner advising those who want the road abandoned that there was no easy going back. More posts will follow about those videos. The Commissioners did vote to abandon that part of Bethany Road, but that’s not the most interesting part. More later.
For now, here’s a playlist of all the videos about Bethany Road from all four LCC meetings:
Abandoning part of Bethany Road contentious and enlightening @ LCC
Regular Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 10 January 2012.
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.