ECB Publishing, Inc.
Residents in certain areas of the county, as well as motorists regularly traveling those areas, can expect to see improved roads in the future.
County officials, at least, have identified nine roads for resurfacing and are seeking state funds through the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to accomplish the improvements. Although realistically, it's the expectation that only three roads at most will be funded.
The selected roads slated for improvement and the approximate amounts sought for each, in order of priority, are as follows:
Under the Small County Road Assistance Program (SCRAP) – Government Farm Road, $505,590; Brown Road, $248,151; and Boland Cemetery Road, $323,239.
Under the Small County Outreach Program (SCOP) – Casa Bianca Road, $721,075; Cook Road, $482,558; and Tyson Road, $668,417.
Under the County Incentive Grant Program (CIGP) – Barnes Road, $357,560; Ebenezer/Hatchett Road, $408,215; and Fanlew/Natural Bridge, $939,751.
Clerk of Court Kirk Reams recommended the roads, which he told the commission he had selected in conjunction
with engineer Joshua Baxley, of Dewberry Engineering.
“We have decided to recommend roads that a little less costly than normal due to conversations with the FDOT about limited funding,” Reams said.
He also informed the commission that the likelihood was that only the top-ranked road in each category would received funding.
The SCRAP funds 100 percent of the cost and assists small county governments with the resurfacing and reconstructing of county-owned roads. Capacity improvements are not eligible. To qualify for the funding, the county population can not exceed 75,000.
The SCOP funds up to 75 percent of the cost, although county such as Jefferson can get a waiver where the FDOT funds the project in its entirety.
The SCOP assists small county governments with the repair or rehabilitation of county bridges, paving dirt roads, addressing road-related drainage improvements, resurfacing or reconstructing county roads, or constructing capacity or safety improvements on county roads. To qualify for SCOP funding, a county's population cannot exceed 170,000.
The CIGP funds 50 percent of a project, although waivers can sometimes be gotten. A requirement of the CIGP funding is that the selected roads be located on the State Highway System, or that it can be shown that road relieves traffic congestion on the State Highway System.
Since the mid-1990s, these various FDOT programs have pumped nearly $50 million into Jefferson County for road-improvement projects.