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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Committee of Community Volunteers Asks Commission to Place Consideration of Toll Road on “Hold”

By: Sid Riley

At the stormy community meeting which was held in Cottondale two weeks ago, a large working committee was organized in an attempt to identify what restrictions would be necessary before the possible construction of a north-south toll road through Jackson County might be considered. At the Tuesday evening meeting of the Jackson County Commission, JCDC Director Bill Stanton and this committee along with representatives from Graceville and Campbellton appeared before the Commission to present a request.
They were requesting that the Commissioners give authorization to this group of volunteers to develop a listing of criteria and conditions that should be met before any future consideration would be given to the project. These criteria would address such issues of forbidding use of eminent domain, requirements related to blockage of roads and splitting of properties, revenues, access, and others. Once these criteria have been developed, they would then be presented to the Commissioners for approval as the minimum requirements for the project.
The group asked for four months of allowed time for developing this list of restrictions and requirements. Then this document would be presented to every involved community for approval and would then finally be presented to the County Commission.
There were some in attendance that spoke relating to this approach, stating they did not feel the committee was diverse enough, and that several communities were being left out. Commissioner Spires expressed some concern about the request for restricting the Board from taking any action until the group had completed its task.
Finally, the board agreed to allow the JCDC Board to formulate the committee and the framework for proceeding.

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