Public Works named Newton County Department of the Month
Public Works department takes home Chairman Marcello Banes’ honor for February
County governments provide many services, ranging from public safety to parks and recreation to water and sewerage.
Those functions of government are easily acknowledged by the public when 911 is needed to be called, when the weather gets too nice to stay indoors or when they turn on their faucet to wash their hands or get a drink of water.
Another major service a county government performs to take care of something residents use every day of their lives but rarely think about it.
The average person travels on roads several times a day and mostly takes for granted that those roads are safe well taken care of.
In Newton County, there are approximately 750 miles of roads manned by 41 public works employees in eight divisions — paving, mowing, construction, trucking, sign, fleet, right of way and inspection.
Those employees were recognized during a recent Board of Commissioners meeting when Newton County Chairman Marcello Banes named Public Works the Newton County Department of the Month for February.
In January, the Public Works crew prepared Newton County’s roads for a potential snow and ice storm by pre-treating roads and preparing five quick response units, two heavy salt/sand trucks, three plows and 1,000 gallons of brine mixture.
The department’s efforts ended up not being needed but the men and women of Newton County Public Works were prepared to keep the county’s roads safe.
According to Banes, Public Works certainly put in the work in 2016.
Here is some of what Newton County Public Works accomplished last year:
- Paved/resurfaced of approximately 20 miles of roads.
- Completed first two TST roads with new chip spreader, and began dirt road paving program.
- Added a new right turn lane at Highway 36 and the Covington Bypass.
- Replaced five large concrete culverts — Henderson Mill Road, Elks Club Road, Spring Hill Road, Jeff Cook Road, and High Point and Forest Road.
- Cut 780 miles of road right of way four times, each side.
- Managed in-house construction of Livingston Lane project, which was complete and came in under budget.
- Resurrected several pieces of large equipment that had been abandoned by the county years ago.
- Trimmed and removed several trees.
- Completed daily work orders, shoulder clipping, road scraping, animal burials and equipment maintenance.
Currently, Public Works has approximately $18 million in projects fully approved by the Board of Commissioners which are in the engineering, right of way or construction phases.
“We are excited about what Public Works completed in 2016,” Banes said. “And if January is any indication, we expect to be even more productive in 2017.”