ROGERSVILLE — A second Hawkins County highway maintenance shop proposed for the far east end of Surgoinsville would save money and increase productivity on the east end of the county, according to road superintendent Lowell Bean.
On Tuesday, the Hawkins County Commission’s Road Committee gave Bean unanimous approval to continue negotiating a price for 2.7 acres on Forest View Drive at the Highway 11-W intersection. The property is located right at the Surgoinsville and Church Hill city boundary across the from Dot and Rick’s Market.
Bean said if he and the owner can agree on a price, he will bring that back to the Road Committee for a recommendation to the County Commission.
The Hawkins County Highway Department currently operates out of a single shop located on Flora Ferry Road just off Route 66 south of Rogersville.
Bean told the Times-News prior to Tuesday’s Road Committee meeting that a lot of time and gasoline is wasted by his crew traveling back and forth from the eastern end of the county.
“It’s hard to say at this time how much money we could save with this second location, but I think it’s safe to say we could double the amount of work being done on the upper (east) end of the county,” Bean said. “We could store, salt, chat and gravel up there so in the winter time we don’t have to travel so many miles just to get reloaded and get back on the upper end of the county. We’re spending way too much time running back and forth when we could be doing something more productive and taking better care of those roads in the winter time.
“If we’re lucky enough to get the land, I’d like to get a building to store salt, chat and gravel, but it would also be handy if we were on the upper end working. We could leave our equipment up there overnight and wouldn’t have to come all the way back to Rogersville.”
Bean said he made an offer for the property and the owner made a counter-offer, and now they’re trying to come to an agreement.
He already has the money in his budget to cover the land purchase.
The proposed satellite highway shop would be 17 miles from the Rogersville shop.
“We could cover that area up there so much better, especially when it’s snowing and time is of the essence,” Bean said. “By the time you pay the employees, you buy your gas, plus your wear and tear on the vehicles, it would be a big savings.”
In other business Tuesday the Road Committee:
•Approved Bean’s request to issue a $2.5 million bond for the purpose of paving Carters Valley Road from the 11-W intersection near Rogersville west to North Central Avenue in Church Hill, The committee also approved Bean’s request for purchasing five new dump trucks. Bean noted that his current dump trucks all have in excess of 300,000 miles.
•Accepted the resignation of committee Chairman Danny Alvis, who remains on the committee but no longer serves as chairman. Vice Chairman Charlie Newton takes over as chairman, and Shane Bailey will serve as vice chairman.
Alvis told the Times-News that with his other duties including chairman of the Beer Board and the Hawkins County Humane Society board of directors he needed to take one thing off of his plate at this time.
“Charlie will do a great job as chairman of the Road Committee, and I will still be on the committee to assist him in any way I can,” Alvis said.