Politics & Government

Ball Street widened into downtown Perry

PERRY -- Just a year ago, a piece of Ball Street was more like a narrow country road that just happened to end in the downtown of Houston County’s seat. Upgrades now provide a better entranceway into the business district, with parking and wide lanes.

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Tuesday in the rain, which Houston County Commission Chairman Tommy Stalnaker described as “liquid sunshine.” The work covered about a third of a mile and cost $670,000, Stalnaker said.

“I think it has greatly enhanced downtown Perry,” Stalnaker said.

Houston County Traffic Engineer Johnny Brooks said the road had two lanes just 9 feet wide. Now, each lane is one-third wider at 12 feet, with sidewalks, curb and gutter and on-street parking.

“You can actually drive through here and not be afraid to meet a Volks­wagen,” Brooks quipped.

But the narrower version of the road had been carrying bigger things than Volkswagens, including loaded log trucks.

Perry Mayor Jimmy Faircloth joined Stalnaker in praising the taxpayers who funded the work through a special purpose local option sales tax and the employees who worked on the project.

“It takes all of us in order to do this,” Faircloth said.

The county led the work on the project using money left over from other projects in the 2006 SPLOST. Perry previously ran a sales tax project that widened Ball Street from Duncan Avenue to Golden Isles Parkway. The latest work improved Ball Street between Duncan Avenue and Main Street.

Stalnaker said 22 of the county’s 25 major SPLOST-funded road projects are complete or under construction. Roads with current construction projects include Feagin Mill Road, Carl Vinson Parkway, Ga. 96, U.S. 41 and Gunn Road. Dunbar Road improvements are being designed.

Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report.