Madison County commissioners are frequently asked to consider taking over the maintenance of certain private roads in the county. But the group is always hesitant, because there are 140 private roads and not enough money to take over all of them.
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The Madison County Board of Education unanimously agreed at its January meeting to send a letter to the Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT) concerning the need for a traffic light at the new Hwy. 72 Comer bypass.
The letter was addressed to DOT commissioner Russell McMurray and began by thanking the DOT for their help in constructing a turning lane at Comer Elementary, which is located just a few hundred feet from the new bypass, which will intersect Hwy. 98 just west of the school.
“Your response to this issue has prevented accidents from occurring,” the board wrote. “Once again, the (school system) is in need of your assistance at Comer Elementary.”
The board noted that other county officials have already sent letters of concern about the proposed intersection and the DOT’s intention to install stop signs in both directions on Hwy. 98, instead of a traffic light.
Comer mayor Jody Blackmon recently addressed the board about this issue, citing the dangers he foresees if a traffic light is not installed and urging everyone to contact state officials about the matter before a major accident occurs.
“As you know, school traffic brings a dynamic difference to traffic flow at any intersection,” the board wrote to McMurray. “We are very concerned that school buses will be attempting to cross this four lane intersection during peak school traffic times. When you add parent drivers, student drivers and the normal traffic on Hwy. 98, the probability for an accident is great. Hwy. 98 is a popular route for log trucks traveling west to wood processing plants in Commerce, GA.”
Board members told McMurray they were “confident” he would recommend a traffic light at this intersection if he actually saw it in person.
“Our prayer is that your will place a traffic light at this location,” the letter continued. “We are very concerned that a serious accident will occur without a light. As school officials, we bear the burden and responsibility for our students’ safety. The safety of students traveling through this intersection will be in great jeopardy without a traffic light. Please help us protect our children!”
In other business, superintendent Dr. Allen McCannon noted that the school board had received the Distinguished Board Recognition from the Georgia School Boards Association again this year.
During special recognition, Dr. McCannon recognized advisor John Lastly and members of the MCMS FFA Dairy Judging Team for placing second at the State Jr. Dairy Judging Career Development Event. He also noted that one member placed first at state as an individual.
McCannon also recognized teacher Sara Brubaker (Hull-Sanford), Kathy Wheeler (Colbert), Jennifer Gibbons (Colbert), Sam Rafal (MCMS), Allison Daniels (Ila) and Windy Dalton (Ila) for the recognition/commendation by the Dept. of Education for their use of GA SLDS (Statewide Longitudinal Data System). He noted that these teachers viewed over 500 pages of student data and resources.
The board approved the calendar year 2016 and January 2017 board of education regular meeting calendar. The board will meet on the second Tuesday of each month at the board of education professional learning center on Madison Street (old middle school) at 7 p.m., with the exception of the month of July. That month, the board will meet the third Tuesday of the month, July 19, at 7 p.m.