BOC votes to approve funds for interchange report


By Monroe Roark
Times Correspondent



The Henry County Board of Commissioners voted at its Aug. 16 regular meeting to approve $148,500 for an interchange justification report regarding the proposed new interchange on I-75 south of Hwy. 155 and north of Locust Grove.

Officials said this is the second step in the process, following a feasibility study and before design and construction can begin. The project itself is part of the county’s SPLOST program.

In other business, the board approved funding for a total of 13 bridge and culvert repair projects. County officials put all of the sites into a single plan and bid them out as a group, with the total cost coming in at $1,016,012.24. Expected completion time is ten months. A list of the sites can be found at www.henrycounty-ga.org.

The board voted to rescind a resolution authorizing $70,000 toward drainage issues impacting properties on McAllister Drive in Eagle’s Brooke subdivision and Lester Mill Road. The initial resolution was passed in May but the stormwater department presented limited results. A motion to rescind was presented in June but failed with a 3-3 vote.

County staff met with all property owners to discuss options. The only option all property owners agreed upon was the purchase and restoration of two lots at a cost of $103,076. The $33,000 budget shortfall for that, plus the fact that the stormwater department does not service areas on private property or within gated communities, led to the recommendation to rescind the original decision.

Two rezoning requests on the meeting agenda were changed slightly before being approved. The requests were for two tracts totaling about three acres at 1840 and 1850 Hwy. 81 East to be rezoned to C-2 (highway commercial). The board denied that request and approved a new zoning of R-2 (general commercial) with several conditions. The tracts are intended for resale with no proposed use right now.

A 14.3-acre tract on the east side of North Ola Road at Timber Ridge Drive was approved for rezoning to R-1 residential. Following the recommendation of the Zoning Advisory Board, the request was approved with six conditions regarding house size, building features, landscaping and other issues.

In an unusual moved, the board voted to grant a request for reversion from R-1 to RA zoning for 100 acres south and east of Carl Parker Road. There is no proposed development for the property at this time, according to county officials. Such a reversion is allowed upon review if no substantial development has taken place in the past 18 months. An R-2 request for this property was denied in the fall of 2014.