Byron council debates lighting for proposed roundabout

BYRON -- A request from the Georgia Department of Transportation for Byron to provide lighting at a proposed roundabout on the Ga. 247 Connector has City Council going to the Peach County Commissioners to discuss annexing roads at the intersection.

The GDOT plans to put a roundabout at the intersection of John E. Sullivan Road and Walker Road as they intersect with the Ga. 247 Connector. Property at the four corners of the intersection is part of Byron, but the county owns the roads.

Councilman Michael Chidester said at Monday’s regular council meeting that it presents a problem. He said the city can’t write tickets and collect income from the roads, so he is hesitant to commit to taking on the cost of the lighting. He said previous discussions with county officials about the road have not yielded results.

Mayor Larry Collins said he would like more discussion with the county before the city commits to pay for lighting.

Peach County Commissioner Michael Dinkins, who was at the meeting on another matter, said he believed the county would be open to further discussion.

Chidester said the GDOT told the city a delay in committing to providing lighting might cause a delay in the project. Chidester said he did not think that would be a bad thing. A GDOT public hearing last September about the roundabout showed mixed feeling in the community over it.

Council tabled the matter until March after talks with the county. Collins said the county might turn over the roads, they might share costs for lighting, or they might take full responsibility. Whatever the decision, he said, it had to be settled before a response to state officials could be made.