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911 Director Jerry Jordan seeks to mend road consistancies without causing further address changes

Thursday night’s Johnson County Commission meeting opened on a somber note of reflection for County Attorney, Bill Cockett, who was at that very moment in the hospital going through heart surgery. Cockett was major part of Vice-Chairman John Brookshire’s opening prayer and was also the subject of many well wishes for a speedy recovery from other members of the county government including Mayor Larry Potter.
The meeting in general proved to be rather concise by county standards, dealing mainly with the typical monthly duties such as approval of notaries and public officials’ bonds. Even those lists were short, with only Mike Long, Lisa Osborne, and Janice Russell needing renewal as notaries as well as two bonds in the amount of $40,000 for Gene Hackney and Willie DeBord as members of the 911
board, and 911 treasurer respectively.
The board also reviewed reports submitted by the various county department heads and committees, which proceeded without any major concerns or comments. The one actual adjustment voted on by the commission was the adoption of the new county committees list, which now incorporated recently appointed Commissioners Evelyn Hill and Chris Pierce in the seats of former Commissioners Emily Millsaps and Dean Stout.
While each of these measures passed rather quickly and without controversy, the one point of contention for the whole evening came as Road Superintendent Tony Jennings and 911 Director Jerry Jordan presented suggested changes to the current county road list. Hoping to clear up some of the major inconsistencies in a series of road names, Jordan presented the commission with a list of 38 roads that needed minor changes to match the information currently used by the local postal service. Only a handful of the problems involved major differences such as the conversion of Mountain Lake Road to Deer Path Circle, or Buffalo Ridge to Buffalo Run, while the vast majority simply corrected spelling or altered classifications from road to lane or vice versa. Jordan’s primary goal with the suggestions was to avoid having residents on these streets actually change their address, since the county would simply be adopting the names current¬ly used for postal deliveries. Further, with the 911, county, and post office all having identical road lists, Jordan would be able to submit the corrections to the state as well as GPS services which still have many errors. The one remaining inconsistency would be those addresses already listed in the local phone books, but even those would hopefully be fixed by the next publication. However, as the commissioners began looking at of the proposed name changes, discussion arose about the impact of adopting the list, especially where classification changes are concerned. County Road Superintendent Tony Jennings pointed out that state aid funding can only be applied to roads that connect to another road on both ends. Dead end streets that are typically considered lanes do not qualify for state assistance. With that in mind there was some concern about examples such as Goins Road, which would become Goins Lane on the suggested list. Several commissioners also brought up issues with confusion on some roads, including the change of D. Dotson Lane in Trade to simply Dotson Road when there is already a Dotson Lane in the Shouns Community. Chairman Freddy Phipps went on to point out that just because the post office has certain roads listed by a specific name not all residents on that street may uniformly use that designation, and may have their address listed to match the current road list regardless. With all these questions unanswered, and the opinions of the constituents out of the loop, many members of the board began to voice their desire to see the decision on the road list postponed until next month. While Jordan was hopeful to get the list corrected as quickly as possible, he agreed that the issue could wait until February.
The only other business of the night was the approval of several small budget amendments presented by recently appointed Accounts and Budgets Director Russell Robinson. The first in a series of similar efforts, the amendments don’t actually require any transfer of money, but are a method for identifying specific line items for accounts that may have been lumped together, such as a miscellaneous group of small purchases. While helping to clean up a few minor issues, the amendments primary purpose was to allow Robinson to clearly see exactly what funds are coming into the county and what are going out.