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February 27, 2014

Roads and trash-Jennings residents address issues on 27th Blvd.

Jasper — Several residents who live on NW 27th Blvd., a dirt road also known as Bradshaw Loop in Jennings, converged on the county commission chamber during the Feb. 18 meeting of the board to request help with road issues on their street.

Resident James Miller stated, “Since the board of county commissioners, prior to you all, approved four individual subdivisions on this road - Richardson Ridge, Graham Acres, Brooks Estates and Miller Pines - we’ve had an excessive amount of traffic on this road.”

With last year’s rainy summer and this year’s rainy winter, Miller said the road cannot withstand the traffic, and as a result the road grader can’t keep up with its maintenance.

“We also now have a new hunting preserve going in out there,” said Miller. “A man just finished putting in a four acre lake and we’ve had an excessive amount of commercial traffic for the development of this 150 acre hunting preserve. We also have commercial activity known as Mindiola, a migrant transportation business run out of their homes, and there are anywhere from eight to 20 trucks that run up and down this road constantly.”

Miller said his request, as well as the request of others in the audience who live there, is to have milling be put on the road because of the excessive amount of traffic. He said he understood if the road had milling put on it, it would be maintenance free. Then the residents wouldn’t have to put up with all the potholes on the dirt road, the affected area of which is a little over one mile long, he added. He also said there are 29 individual one-acre lots that weren’t there before.

Other roads have just been milled, Miller said, such as 40th Way and Oak Street.

“I went over and looked at these jobs and I think it’s an excellent idea for 27th Blvd.,” said Miller. “Then the road grader man can actually maybe get his lunch someday.”

Miller said the road grader guy is spread out and having a tough time trying to keep up, especially with all the rain that continues to make potholes.

Commissioner Beth Burnam noted that Mindiola also has produce trucks that run up and down 27th Blvd., as well. The other commissioners were in agreement that a milled road cannot hold up to industrial traffic. Miller noted the area is zoned agricultural, however most of it is residential homes and that the zoning should have been changed years ago.

Commission Chair Josh Smith told Miller that Commissioner Burnam would get with the county attorney and county coordinator to investigate the situation and that it may be a project that could be submitted to the Florida Department of Transportation under the Small County Outreach Program (SCOP) to have the dirt road paved.

“My initial thought is the milling is a short term headache, but if you get on the SCOP program where the state funds these roads, the long term projection is for it to be paved and you’ll have a better product,” said Smith.

Meanwhile, Smith said Comm. Burnam would get with the road department to increase the frequency of grading on the road.

Commissioner Randy Ogburn said his concern was that there are roads like 27th Blvd. all over the county and he didn’t want to mislead anyone that 27th Blvd. would definitely be placed on the SCOP program to be paved.

Robbie and Carolyn Mitchell also live on NW 27th Blvd. and Carolyn Mitchell advised the board that when the subdivisions were originally approved, it was specified that no commercial businesses were to be allowed.

“It was to be residential only, but it has turned out that agricultural businesses are now out there,” Mitchell said. “Now, since it’s that way, the road needs fixing.”

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