TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE DOMINATE ‘EGGS AND ISSUES’

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(Milledgeville, Ga) — During the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Chamber of Commerce “Eggs and Issues” breakfast, local leaders touted accomplishments and talked about tackling problems. 

“There are a lot of things that you don’t see as you’re driving down the road,” said Baldwin County Manager Carlos Tobar. “We have drainage issues; we have bridges and culverts that need to be replaced that are extremely old.”

He says residents make their complaints known to commissioners as well. The need is there, but the money is not. 

“Either we raise your property taxes nine-mills, so we can raise enough money to go and fix all of these roads. Or we put the Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (T-SPLOST) back on the ballot,” Tobar said. 

Back in 2018, Baldwin County voters rejected a similar measure, and since then, the infrastructure has continued to wear down. A new T-SPLOST could be put up for a vote in November. 

Officials say one of the most significant issues lies underneath the pavement. Some county roads have no ‘base,’ and that leads to more erosion and potholes. “If we just go resurface a road that is like that, then we are throwing money away because, in three or four years, it’s going to have potholes again,” Tobar said. 

District 5 Commissioner John Westmoreland told the group that the roads were not designed for the types of vehicles or the volume of traffic that the county currently experiences. “Not to mention this weather that we’re having today with the rain is just tearing our roads all to pieces,” he added. 

Tobar says the county still has things to be proud of, including a successful election, the completion of the new county government building, and two national awards.