Chairman’s Corner

Last week we were able to catch up with Jackson County Commission Chairman Bill Nance. Nance began by thanking the citizens of Jackson County during the cold weather and severe weather period during January. Nance stated that citizens did a great job of remaining off of the roads during the dangerous period. He also thanked the Jackson County Emergency Management Agency. Nance said that during the emergency weather, the Director Paul Smith and his assistant director lived in the Emergency Management Agency office the entire week. The two worked diligently to provide updates to citizens and first responders. The duo also worked with the National Weather Service to track the potential severe weather that was heading toward Jackson County.

Nance thanked Jackson County Public Works and the Jackson County Engineer. Nance stated that pretreatment was applied to all major minor collector roads (those with 500 plus cars per day), many of which required retreatment, plowing and de-icing. The main focus was on higher altitudes during the event. Public Works worked day and night on the roads and worked to assist the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department when necessary during emergency situations.

Nance thanked the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, the Rosalie Rescue Squad and the Scottsboro/Jackson County Rescue Squad. He stated that the volunteer fire departments worked diligently to assist the county with removing limbs and ensuring that their areas were safe for citizens and for that he is thankful.

Nance went on to say, “I know there is a lot of interest on roads. There is a lot of work happening. Right now you’ll see our crews out working on major minor collectors. We have completed the work on County Road 21 from Willow Street to Pikeville Store; that was about 4.6 miles. It was a preservation effort. The road is in pretty good shape, but we started seeing some deterioration so we began preservation efforts in order to get another 10 years out of the road. We have resurfaced County Road 314 starting from State Road 117. That was a resurfacing and is complete. Right now we are working on County Road 58, about 5.9 miles of road from Pisgah to Rosalie. I would say that is about 80 percent complete. Next, they will move to County Road 47, 4.5 miles of roadway from Highway 35 to Dutton. The last of the effort this year will be County Road 77, a 1.87 mile stretch. We are really trying to take care of the backbone roads in Jackson County. We have a lot of local roads, and they need a lot of attention. The roads that we have worked and completed so far are County Road 189, Hytop Circle, County Road 520, County Road 156, County Road 366, County Road 459, County Road 356, County Road 476, County Road 170, County Road 159, County Road 437 and County Road 104. Right now we are doing prep work on County Road 303, County Road 3, County Road 142 and County Road 107. There are two roads still on the list to be worked that we will start early this spring, and those are County Road 21 from Highway 79 and Lake Boulevard.”

“We are also doing some work on bridges. The bridge on County Road 119, what we thought would be a minor repair, turned into a major repair, but it is now complete. We have started work on the bridge on County Road 145. We plant to work the County Road 18 and County Road 354 bridges this year,” Nance said.

He went on to say, “The last week of February we are going to have some special work sessions on road planning. Public Works is reviewing roads, Commissioners are looking at roads in their districts, and we plan to continue patching. There is also a new road crew for strip patching.”

“Another update I’d like to provide is the Jackson County resiliency plan, looking out 10 to 20 years, where we go in Jackson County. If you look at Madison County, there is tremendous growth and we are beginning to see that coming into Jackson County. We requested and were given grant support. We have hired a consulting firm to help us, KPS, and they will work with SAINS to help us. The project is a one year effort. The objective is to assist economic sectors in Jackson County, tourism, residential, retail and education. We want this to be open to every citizen . We required a 19-question survey be developed as a result. The survey will soon be positioned in all public facilities throughout Jackson County. We will also place it online. In addition, we will host public community meetings at each school throughout Jackson County. One of the upcoming meetings will be held on Thursday, February 22 at 6 p.m. at Pisgah High School.”

Nance ended by announcing that the Jackson County Commission, in partnership with the Jackson County Board of Education, has been granted five additional storm shelters for Jackson County residents. These shelters will be placed at all K-12 schools, including Pisgah, North Sand Mountain, Section, Woodville and Skyline.


by Heather Dohring

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