Board splits on streetlight proposal

Photo of street lights on I-675 (Georgia DOT photo)

Henry County commissioners voted 4-2 earlier this month to table several street lighting agreements until county staff can complete a traffic / safety report for each area, considering crash data and statistical information. Commissioners Clemmons and Holmes voted against the motion.

Previously, commissioners voted in August to adopt a Henry County thoroughfare and intersection lighting program and approve a street light agreement for Jonesboro Road between I-75 and the Clayton County line. The street light agreement was approved on a party line vote (3-2) at an estimated cost of $96,000 per year.

(Georgia DOT photo)

The thoroughfare and intersection lighting program includes the following locations, based on requests from each district commissioner:

  • Jonesboro Road from McDonough city limits to the Clayton County line
  • Rock Quarry Road (portions located in unincorporated Henry County)
  • Fairview Road from Panola Road to Hearn Road
  • East Atlanta Road from Stockbridge city limits to Fairview Road
  • Panola Road from East Atlanta Road to SR 155
  • Campground Road (portions located in unincorporated Henry County)
  • Jodeco Road
  • State Route 20
  • 1520 South Ola Road
  • Bill Gardner Parkway at Lester Mill Road
  • Old Jackson Road at Coan Road

Board members considered agreements for six locations at their October 6 meeting:

  • SR 42 at Campground Road – 12 street lights at $700 / month
  • Rock Quarry Road (portions within unincorporated Henry County) – 47 lights at $3,000 / month
  • Jodeco Road – 87 lights at $5,000 / month
  • Bill Gardner Parkway at Lester Mill Road – 4 lights at $52 / month
  • Old Jackson Road at Coan Road – 2 lights at $26 / month
  • 1520 South Ola Road – 3 lights at $39 / month

Lighting agreements for SR 42 at Campground Road, Rock Quarry Road, and Jodeco Road are with Georgia Power. The other locations would be powered by Central Georgia EMC.

The proposed agreements would cost the county $105,804 / year in addition to what’s approved on Jonesboro Road. Cost agreements for other locations referenced in the lighting program are not yet available.

When asked by Commissioner Wilson if the cost of the new street lights was budgeted, staff replied no. Their plan is to incorporate the cost into the mid-year budget adjustment to be considered by the board for adoption in early 2021. Henry County DOT does not currently have a line item for non-revenue street lighting.

Commissioner Barham remarked he has asked staff to look at the intersections in district III to identify dangerous intersections where street lighting could be beneficial. He continued a plan looking at crash data could be beneficial for the entire county. Chair Wood echoed her support for looking at crash data.

Commissioner Thomas asked staff to consider traffic volumes, population density, and upcoming developments in the area in addition to crash data in their report. She stated “we can’t compare dollars to make this decision…I know why it’s $5,000 [per month] in my particular area and I know why it’s $3,000 [per month] in my particular area” when comparing the cost of lighting Rock Quarry Road and Jodeco Road to the intersections in district I.

County staff plan to bring the lighting agreements back before the board in November with the additional information for each location. Staff will prepare information for each of the eleven locations referenced in the August resolution.

The October 5, 2020 board meeting was held in-person at the county office with two commissioners, Commissioners Clemmons and Holmes, participating via phone.

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Clayton Carte is the founder and owner of Moving Henry Forward Community News. The website provides local news coverage in Henry County, Georgia.