Lee Road 79 discussion continues; Smiths Station ballfield bid approved

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By Michelle Key
Editor

The Lee County Commission met on Aug. 27 for their regularly scheduled meeting. During the meeting, the commissioners readdressed the issue involving Lee Road 79.
District 1 Commissioner Shelia Eckman spoke on the issue and stated that she had been out to inspect the area in question. The commission heard from Terri Lamb, Rob Young and Rick Davidson. Davidson, an attorney, spoke on the behalf of Jim Cook. The roadway in question crosses over Cook’s land and both Lamb and Young use the road to access their property. At this time, the commission has not been able to determine if the road should still be considered a public county road or a private road. According to a letter from Cook, he contends that the roadway has been abandoned and vacated and is now a private road. Lamb and Young hold the position that the road is still being used by the public and meets the definition of a public road. Lamb seeks to make basic improvements to the portion of the dirt road that passes through Cook’s property in order to be able to harvest the timber on her property. The commission has asked the county’s attorney, Stanley Martin, to further research the records on Lee Road 79 and present a recommendation to the commission during the next scheduled meeting on Sept. 10.
Also during the meeting, the commission heard from James Newsome regarding a request to issue a variance to the Lee County Access Management Policy. Newsome is looking to sell a parcel of his property located off Lee Road 158 and the potential owner would like to establish a private driveway in between two existing driveways along 158. Because of the new regulations set forth in the Access Management Policy, the location of the proposed driveway does not meet the current safety requirements for access points along Lee Road 158. A decision on this agenda item was not made during the meeting but was postponed until the Sept. 10 meeting.
In other business, the commission:
• ratified and approved invoices for payments
• announced a vacancy on the Lee County Recreation Board
• announced a vacancy on the Beulah Utilities Board
• approved Dianne Carolton and Richard Key II for the Lee County Youth Development Center Board
• approved the 2017/18 Highway Reference Guide
• approved a bid from Ben B. Gordy Construction, Columbus, Georgia for the Smiths Station Plaza and ballfield project. The bid amount is $1,824,000 and the project is estimated to take 180 days to complete. The Smiths Station Recreation Board has committed to covering $192,500 of the project costs.
• approved a bid from Associated Mechanical, Montgomery, for the amount of $1,267,000 for the HVAC replacement at the dentention center
• heard from Dr. Kelley Steury from the Animal Control Citizen’s Advisory Panel. Steury presented the commission with additional information on the TargetZero program. After a discussion on the merits of the program, the commission decided not to seek an evaluation from TargetZero at this time, but to wait until other aspects of the animal control program have been implemented.
• Removed the Request for a Retail Beer License for Papis Music Mix and Mingle from the agenda at the request of Sheriff Jay Jones
The Lee County Commission meets the second and last Mondays of each month. Meetings are open to the public and are held at Lee County Court House located at 215 S. 9th St. in Opelika.

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