City loses grant
Bostwick TE grant stopped by Georgia DOT
By Patrick Yost
The City of Bostwick’s ambitious plans for an improved streetscape on Fairplay Street have been put on hold, temporarily at least, after an approved grant that would help pay for the work was suspended.
According to Bostwick Mayor John Bostwick, a $96,000 Traffic Enhancement (TE) grant the city had been awarded has been suspended. Bostwick said all TE grants across the state have been placed on hold by the Georgia Department of Transportation pending further review. “Every program in the state has been stopped,” he said.
The city was going to use the grant to construct concrete sidewalks, street lights and brick crosswalks on Fairplay Street. Bostwick said the city had already spent approximately $25,000, as part of the grant stipulations, with Athens–based The Jaeger Company, an architectural firm, to facilitate planning for the project. Bostwick said the city was required to contribute $25,000 of the grant in order to receive the state funds.
However, he said the city may get it’s contributions back if the project is completely halted. In an email from The Jaeger Company to the city, Scott Douglas, a representative of the Jaeger Company, said the city “was one signature from going to construction” before the halt work order was received.
“He’s going to work with someone at the DOT, but I don’t see anything happening real soon. There’s no telling what they might do,” Bostwick said.
The city also received notice that a request for a second TE grant, a grant that would have paid for phase II of the city’s streetscape project, has been rejected by the DOT. Bostwick said that grant, too, was for approximately $96,000 and that the city would resubmit an application to the state this summer.
In other city business the council:
• Heard a report from Bostwick that the city has put Southern Trenching on notice that it is coming close to defaulting on a contract to complete installation of the city’s new water lines if it does not complete a punch list of items from the city by April 9. Bostwick said Monday night at the city’s monthly meeting that he was going to meet with Southern Trenching representatives on Wednesday, April 2 to discuss open areas on incomplete grading on the project. Bostwick said the city currently was holding more than $48,000 in payment to Southern Trenching regarding the job and would continue to withhold payment until the job was done to the city’s satisfaction. “As long as there’s exposed dirt in the city we’re not going to pay them.”
• Made no vote on a proposal to construct traffic calming devices on Fairplay Street. Bostwick told the council that the city had the $5,000 needed to construct two speed tables on the street. Council member Angie Howard, who is also a Fairplay Street resident, said she would poll her neighbors regarding the proposal.