Improvements for roads and drainage in the Edgelea Subdivision has been proposed by the Putnam County Commissioners.
It is now up to Edgelea residents to decide if they will support the project.
The plan presented by County Commissioner Jim Baird and Highway Supt. David Sutherlin works around an expensive sanitary sewer project. Instead, the proposal is to improve the worst areas of groundwater drainage and to pave some of the roads in the neighborhood as a way to remove the groundwater that is infiltrating the area's septic systems.
"We think resurfacing and possibly some drainage work can resolve a majority of this," Baird told the residents.
Not all of the roads would be resurfaced at one time, he said, proposing that Edgelea, Fairway and Wildwood drives would be paved, and that drainage would be improved from the southern end of Wildwood north to the intersection at Fairway and Wildwood.
But that is just the start, Baird said.
"There may be some fine tuning to do," he added about the project.
Engineering shows that there is a lot of water hanging up at that intersection, and that is affecting the county roads.
"So from that point, we want to take care of that water issue," Baird said.
Sutherlin explained that plans are to wedge and fill up all the low spots in the roads and then blacktop over it.
Resident Alan Barber expressed his thanks to the commissioners for their research on the project.
"It's something that's been a long time coming, and I for one am very thankful we've been able to get to this point," Barber said.
Baird asked for the residents to be patient with the county, since some of the work will be done in-house to keep expenses low.
Baird and Sutherlin have been using engineering plans conducted when the project first came up for consideration a few years ago. Sutherlin said he has contacted another engineering firm to make sure the drainage pipe figured into the plan is large enough to take care of the water problem.
But he warned that if the residents are considering hooking onto the city's sanitary sewers in the near future, they should wait and do the sewers, drainage and roads at one time.
"What he's saying," Baird elaborated, "is we don't intend to blacktop it, and then cut it all up, and come back next year and pave it again."
No starting time for the road and drainage improvements was presented by commissioners Baird and Kristina Warren. (Commissioner Gene Beck was absent.) Baird said it is up to the community to decide what they want.
"And once they tell us what to do, then we'll do something," he said.
Sutherlin also cautioned that because of the water lines and other utilities buried in the area, the digging will take some heavy planning.
One resident asked Baird why road improvements for the whole subdivision was not considered, since the roads have been neglected for so long.
"We can do only what we can do," Baird said, referring to the cost and labor factor. "It's all going to be in our maintenance program."
Homeowner Linda Katula thanked the county leaders for their cooperation, and said they would talk over the project with the residents.
Meanwhile, the commissioners agreed to advertise an ordinance to allow all-terrain vehicles to be driven on Putnam County roads.
Supporters of the ordinance have approached the county commissioners repeatedly about the local law, since state law leaves it up to each county to determine whether ATV use is acceptable on local roads. It will remain illegal to ride ATVs on state highways or roads, except to cross them at 90-degree angles.
The county ordinance requires that all ATVs be registered with the state, and only insured licensed drivers will be allowed on the roads.
"We are trying to keep these as safe as possible," ATV supporter Keith Hutcheson told the commissioners and audience. "You have to be at least 16 years old" to ride an ATV on the road.
The commissioners agreed to legally advertise the ordinance 10 days prior to their next meeting, and to take a vote on it during their next regular session at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4.