County Reviews Road-Paving Ordinance

FAIRFIELD – With the ordinance governing the priority of paving roads in the county due for its three-year makeover, Bill Coleman, Chairman of the County Transportation Committee, presented County Council with a new formula for determining which roads will get the tar in years to come during Council’s April 6 work session.

“I, myself, have driven these roads and wondered how (priority) points were allotted,” Coleman said. “Our current formula has faults.”

Under the proposed formula, roads will be issued priority points based on the number of residences per road (2 points each), the number of churches per road (2 points each), whether or not a road is considered a thruway (5 points) and on density (residences per mile).

A residence is defined as a permanent dwelling-house or a fixed mobile home, Coleman said. Travel trailers and RV’s, which had been included in the current formula, are no longer considered residences. Houses used as vacation homes or part-time, seasonal residences would be considered, Coleman said.

Determining density is a little more complicated, but Coleman said it begins by converting miles into feet (1 mile = 5,280 feet). For example, Coleman said, if a road is 1,000-feet long and has five residences, first divide 1,000 (length of road) by 5,280 (feet in a mile) to get .189 (length of the road in miles – in other words, a road 1,000-feet long is .189 miles long). Then, divide the number of residences (5) by the length of the road in miles (.189) to get the points for density (24.46).

An actual example cited by Coleman is Palmetto Road, which is 620-feet long and has seven residences (14 points), no churches (0 points) and is not a thruway (0 points). Its density is 620 feet divided by 5,280 (feet in a mile) to get .117 miles. Seven residences divided by .117 = 59.82 points. Add that to the 14 points Palmetto Road gets for its total residences, and it is assigned 73.82 priority points.

Should Council adopt the formula, it will be used to determine the order in which all unpaved county roads will see work crews over the next three years. David Ferguson, Council Chairman, said Council would take up the revised ordinance at their next regular meeting, May 13.

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