Safety, Signs,School Buses, & 18-Wheelrs on Old Dermott Road Issues Presented to Quorum CourtAugust 23rd, 2012 by Mandy Moss
Ordinance Passed to Prohibit Use of Old Dermott Road by Log and Commercial Trucks;
County Votes to Allow Purchases Made from Select Concrete Company
Feb. 21, 2012
The Quorum Court voted unanimously to pass an ordinance prohibiting both log and other commercial big trucks from traveling on Old Dermott Road. With an ordinance now in place, anyone in violation of the ordinance will be able to be ticketed and fined.
There is an exemption in the ordinance that allows for loggers living or owning timber on the road to use it without legal consequences.
The Court also voted to pass an ordinance allowing the County to purchase road and construction supplies, as well as trucking services, from Select Concrete Company, LLC. The ordinance is required due to a Code that states it is prohibited for county officials to directly or indirectly make sales to the County. With the difficulty and greatly added expense of using a different company, the Court agreed to continue to purchase supplies from Select Concrete.
Quorum Court Reverses Log Truck Decision on Old Dermott Road
Jan. 24, 2012
Several concerned Drew County citizens attended Monday night’s regular Quorum Court meeting to address concerns over the Court’s recent decision to open Old Dermott Road to truck traffic. Kenny Worbington lives on Old Dermott Rd. and said to the Court, “I’m here as a spokesman for this group of people… We’re just here to voice our opinion on the decision that was made about 3 weeks ago by the Quorum Court to open Old Dermott Road to log truck traffic. We’re opposed to this.”
He went on to say, “We’re not against the log trucks. What we would like for you to do is for you to close traffic to large trucks until the road is widened and fixed.” “It’s one of the most dangerous roads in this county. There’s no shoulder… no room for mistakes, nowhere to go.”
Mr. Worbington said Cherry St. residents were also present, and they have the same concerns. He stated that he had measured Cherry Street and it is 16’3” wide. He said a log truck is 8 feet wide, and its trailer 8’6” wide. A School bus 8’ wide. “If you add that up it’s 16’ of school bus and log truck… not counting the mirrors that stick out from both.” – Worbington
“If you meet a school bus, and a log truck… you can’t pass.” “This is one of the most dangerous situations in Drew County, and I have 65 signatures of people that travel that road, plus written concern from Drew Central School Board.”
Mr. Worbington read a letter from the Drew Central School Board expressing its concerns for the safety of children on its school busses if they were to meet a log truck on the narrow road.
Mr. Worbington then read a letter from logging contractor Mike Pennington (also a Drew Central School Board member) that said he opposes both of the roads opening because the, “road is too narrow, no proper shoulders to meet other vehicles or school busses.” He went on to say it is much safer to route through town.
“I love Drew County and I love my family… and my family has been put in danger.” “We’re not against anybody making a living. We’re concerned for kids on a school bus that have no say in where they ride.” – Kenny Worbington
“All we’re asking is you pass an ordinance and close that road to heavy trucks until it’s fixed. Until it’s widened, until shoulders are put on it, until ditches are dug…” Worbington
Mr. Worbington went on to explain that the road through downtown is a state road so if it gets torn up by big trucks, the state will pay to repair it and Drew County doesn’t have to use tax money to fix it like they do Old Dermott Rd.
“I’m going to make a motion and y’all can vote how you want to.” – Renee Knowles to the Quorum Court
Renee Knowles moved to make an ordinance to close Old Dermott Rd. to big truck traffic until the road is big truck ready, including the possibility of the maximum penalty according to the law for breaking the ordinance.
The motion passed unanimously by the Court.
Quorum Court Opens Old Dermott Road for Log Truck Traffic; Talk of I-69 Expansion toward Wilmar
Dec 21, 2011
Mayor Allen Maxwell and MEDC Executive Director Nita Mcdaniel presenteda powerpoint presentation to theCourt showing the current traffic congestion problems in the City.
Mayor Maxwell stated that the closure of Old Dermott Road to log trucks has rerouted the trucks to drive through the core of Monticello. 2,800 trucks per year currently into the city via Price Lumber Company. This causes unsafe traffic conditions and congestion.
Price Lumber Company is soon to add a third shift, and 36 employees. This will add an additional 933 trucks per year through downtown Monticello, making the new total 3,733.
To releave the traffic issues, a study by the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department suggests that the County open Old Dermott Roard and the City open Cherry Street to truck traffic.
Opening these roads would keep a large portion of truck traffic off of the city streets and alleviate the congestion issues – especially at the HWY 425 and HWY 27 intersection. It would also require loggers to drive fewer miles, saving money on trips.
Court member Rene Knowles stated that it costs approximately $5 a mile to drive their family log trucks.
With the logging industry suffering with the down economy, Mayor Maxwell told the Court, “It costs Price money and it costs loggers money… the price of lumber goes up.”
Mrs. McDaniel said, “The entire community benefits from the mill being here.” “We’ve got to keep what we have.”
Future plans to further help releave traffic issues that were suggested included:
- Connect Jordan Drive to HWY 35
- Connect Scoggin Drive to HWY 278
- Connect Scoggin Drive to Barkada Rd.
Mayor Maxwell explained that much of these plans would depend on the future of I-69 and if the expansion of the interstate through Monticello did happen.
Judge Lampkin stated that he had been studying this issue and, “I cannot find an ordinance saying that road [Old Dermott Rd.] is closed.”
Rene Knowles said, “I’m not for opening it and I’m a log woman.” “I know what it’s going to cost to do the road.” “That road is going to melt!”
“We’ll just have to fix it.” – Carol Bulloch
Discussion began about the safety of having log trucks traveling the narrow road along with school busses and other traffic. The issue of financially being able to make the road safe for such traffic, and keep it repaired resulted in Judge Lampkin saying, “As long as we have the one cent sales tax, we can afford to repair it.”
A motion was made to take the “no trucks” sign off of Old Dermott Road and open it to truck traffic. The motion passed.
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