Eutaw looks at agreement for Branch Height’s road repairs

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 11, 2005

EUTAW-Eutaw Mayor Raymond Steele said Tuesday he has been working with the state to put together an agreement that would have the city take responsibility for Branch Heights and the state perform some of the needed repairs to the areas roads.

Steele said the condition of Branch Height’s roadways was one they have put endless time and effort into finding a solution for. He said the state has offered them a helping hand to at least bring a temporary solution to the problem.

“In the past we have known and realized that in order to get some work done on the roads in Branch Heights that some entity is going to have to accept responsibility,” Steele said. “What has been offered to us is that the state will come and do some work and work with us to do some repairs on the roads in Branch Heights.”

Steele said the agreement would hinge on whether the state was willing to take responsibility for the roads. Steele said if this agreement were accepted the state would come and do some paving in the area.

Steele said they would repave the roads and perform some other needed repairs to make the roads more comfortable for the residents to travel.

“They are going to pave all the streets in the area,” Steele said. “The conversation that I had with them was that they would come and fill the potholes and do some grinding where it needs to be done and come back and pave it.”

The agreement is a start, but ultimately it will not completely solve the problem. Steele said the work the state would do would likely hold up for three to five years. However, without the agreement nothing could be done for the area. Steele said the city would continue to seek federal and state funds to look for a permanent solution.

Councilman Lewis Bostick said his only concern was making sure the state held up their end of the bargain.

“I think it is something that we have got to do,” Bostick said. “I am a little leery of the states obligation to do that and to do it in a manner that it will last four to five years.”

Bostick asked that a contract be negotiated to get a better idea of what the state planned to do and proceed from there.

Steele assured Bostick that without the state there would be no work done to the roads.

“What I am proposing to the council is that a resolution to accept responsibility upon the roads contingent on the state fulfilling their commitment to pave the roads,” Steele said. “That is the best we will be able to get and if we do the resolution and the state does not do the work there is nothing that can be done because we do not have the funds. We are accepting responsibility of the roads contingent on the state coming in and doing the work that needs to be done.”

The council agreed on a 4-0 vote, with one council member abstaining, to pursue the agreement with the state.