Commission to vote on Phase 2 of bypass all 5 have opposed

The 2013 Fayette County Commission. (L-R) David Barlow, Steve Brown, Randy Ognio, Charles Oddo and Allen McCarty. Photo/Ben Nelms.

An effort to stop the second phase of the West Fayetteville Bypass in its tracks is not possible because terminating construction contracts would leave the county susceptible to lawsuits, according to Fayette County Commission Chairman Steve Brown.

In a memo to his fellow commissioners, all of whom have opposed the bypass, Brown notes that the majority of the work on the remainder of the second phase — from Eastin Road to Ga. Highway 92 — is complete.

Brown is expected to author a motion at Thursday night’s commission meeting to allow completion of the second phase of the bypass, but to completely ditch a proposed third and final phase of the road.

“The contractor has to be paid in full or the county government is in breach of contract as we are locked into a binding agreement from the former majority on the Board of Commissioners,” Brown wrote in the memo. “If we continue to halt the work, we lose a significant amount of taxpayer dollars with nothing to show for it.”

There is also a chance for erosion problems from the as-yet unpaved road bed that would cost even more if the project isn’t completed, Brown said.

Brown’s memo does not mention the road’s connection to the proposed Pinewood Studios development which would be located off the bypass (which is formally named Veterans Parkway) near Sandy Creek and Eastin roads.

Once the second phase is complete, the bypass will stretch from Ga. Highway 54 west of Piedmont Fayette Hospital all the way up to Ga. Highway 92 at West Bridge Road.

Brown has been a staunch opponent of the bypass and has voted against any motion before the commission that even has a remote connection with furthering the bypass project, such the bulk purchase of asphalt material that is also used for other county roads. He has often argued that on principle alone he could not approve such matters because of his distaste for the bypass.

So it is significant that Brown is reversing course on the matter when he has four other like-minded commissioners who also opposed the project.

Brown’s motion, however, will also include a death blow for the third and final phase of the bypass, which would have run from Redwine Road along Ebenezer Church and Lester roads to link with the current southern terminus of the bypass at Hwy. 54 west of Piedmont Fayette Hospital.

The action is planned for Thursday’s county commission meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. at the county’s Stonewall government complex in downtown Fayetteville.

Brown in the memo indicates he will make a motion for the county to cancel a recommended roundabout at the intersection of the bypass and Ga. Highway 92, directly across from Westbridge Road, in favor of a more traditional four-way crossroads. County staff has said previously that the Georgia Department of Transportation preferred using a roundabout for the intersection, which will be a short distance south of the existing traffic light at Hwy. 92 North and Milam Road.

Brown contends that the county’s interim attorney has discovered that 10 properties along the second phase of the bypass are still in the condemnation process although the county has effectively taken the land and started building the bypass anyway.

“I consider this careless methodology to be both inappropriate and unconscionable, opening the county up to considerable risk by not knowing the actual costs of land acquisitions and possible court-imposed damages,” Brown wrote.

Husband and Fat...
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Question - Let me throw this out there

If the claims are accurate that the construction of Phase 2 has to proceed due to the signed contract, then our former commission, county manager and county attorney should be taken to the woodshed.

It is typical for any commercial / municipal contract to have a simple clause to state that the the issuer of the contract (county) has an option to cancel the contract at any time due to convenience. Of course the county would be liable for any construction costs incurred and any fee negotiated during contract discussions or bid documents.

Whoever wrote the bid documents, issued the contract, or performed the legal review, needs to go back to school. What county would issue a contract that one sided to the contractor?

On the other hand, perhaps the road to no-where was actually a good vision(build it and they will come - Pinewood Studios) and this contract claim provides the party of five an opportunity to now agree to continue with the project even though most of them opposed the project for years.

Finally, I do agree that the completion of phase 2 is the proper way to proceed based on the current happenings in the county.

Robert W. Morgan
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If you elect me, I will stop the West Fayette Bypass

That terrible bypass is a developer's road and a road to nowhere,
Well, not Phase one, of course, that's too far along,
but that darned Phase two, we are going to stop that in its tracks,
well, no that's too far along and Frady freezes me out of big decisions like that,
actually I kind of like Phase two because we attracted the Pinewood studios on my watch (Frady had nothing to do with it, doncha know),
and a lot of jobs, that's what we do as commissioners, so Phase two might be good,
well not really because they could have just used Sandy Creek Road,
and we are building it on land we don't own yet, so I am uncomfortable with that,
I wonder who was on county commission when that was allowed, oh well,
not my fault because I'm not allowed to talk directly with department heads,
well, I am now, but you know what I mean,
but we are going to stop that darned Phase three so we can guarantee a road to nowhere,
unless something else pops up that I can make sound good.

There, I've explained it to everyone's satisfaction. Boy, it sure is tiring being a politician. So much to remember.

Husband and Fat...
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Pinewood - could have altered the recent election results

One would think that with Pinewood Studios, the road would have to proceed. One would assume the county sold them on the site based on the road going in.

I don't mind someone reversing an earlier decision if the facts now show that the decision is good for the county. The spin doctoring is worthy of an Oscar. One would have more respect if the commission just said, that based on the good fortune of Pinewood Studios, it would only make sense to complete this road due to the financial impact it will have on the county long term.

The intelligent people in the county will understand that the county was working on this deal under the previous commission and had this deal gone thru prior to the election, the outcome of the election may have been different.

I'm not sure I buy the fact that the commission is now claiming that the contract to build the road could not be voided. I highly doubt that any contract issued by the county cannot be altered or broken if they really wanted to do it.

Robert W. Morgan
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Hearn would have been elected if he had time

to explain and spin and take credit for the deal a couple of months before the election. He had the road as "his baby" and he could have ridden that horse to victory. Horgan was destined to lose anyway. Frady certainly played a part in the deal (possible the only commissioner to do so) and he could have run and won. None of those people running for his open seat were strong enough to beat an incumbent with a story like Pinewood to tell. Likely he knew the announcement would not be in time for that and he certainly couldn't talk about it, so he retired.

So, on to the election that mattered - chairperson. If Pinewood was known ahead of time, Frady or Hearn would be the new chair.

And yes, the "can't void the contract" story has as much credibility as Obama saying "I didn't cancel the White House tours"

Husband and Fat...
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RWM

Let me start by saying, yes, we moan and complain at times, but for the most part, the new commission has done well, so far. Most of it seems to be a result of Mr. Rapson cracking down on the former county managers errors.

What chaps my butt is that they all claim to be open and honest. If they want to back it up, why hasn't any of the commissioners stated that Matt Forshee brought Pinewood to the table last year and this just landed in our laps. Barlow can thank whatever god he permits someone to pray for at the next commission meeting and its done with.

But, no, that will never happen.

Wonder if we will ever see an honest straightforeward tell it like it is politician ever again.

moelarrycurly
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Pinewood Studios

is not a done deal. There is no contract yet. Only a memorandum of understanding. Where have we heard that before?

Who is going to pay for the bridge over Hwy. 54 from the hospital to the shops across the road that is being negotiated with GDOT right now?

Who is going to pay for the multiuse path from the back of the hospital up to the studio path? Who is going to pay for the easements for that path? Oh, that's right, it's going to run along the sewer line. What sewer line, you ask? Why, the new sewer line that is going in when all of this is annexed into the city of Fayetteville. Who is going to use the multiuse path? Why, all those patients at the hospital, of course. Golf carts, you ask? Who is going to service those carts? Where will their shop be? What registration will be needed to operate a golf cart? Where will you go to get that registration? Laws for golf carts?

All the rural property owners that live out there who you see day and night walking and running up and down Sandy Creek, yelling at the top of their lungs, "Why don't we have a path to nowhere?" Who is going to pay for the ongoing maintenance of those paths?

Oh taxpayers of Fayetteville, you better wake up. Your quiet, sleepy days are over. Brown and company are up and running and have your future laid out in spades. When the governor says jump, all better ask how high.

Yes, there will be some jobs, and some notoriety. At what cost, well, let's just do it fast and quick and figure that out later. If Jimmy Pace and Billy Foley are involved then it must all be for the greater good of mankind.

http://www.thecitizen.com/articles/11-23-2011/295m-foreclosure-hits-pathway

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