Fort Oglethorpe mayor Lynn Long and council member Louis Hamm were absent from the special called meeting at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 4. Mayor pro tem Earl Gray presided over the meeting, and council members Charles Sharrock, Eddie Stinnett and Johnnie “Red” Smith voted to approve the declaration of taking of property.
City manager Ron Goulart said the taking of 28,589 square feet of road was necessary to complete the project. The city took the right-of-way portion of property from Healthcare Properties Inc. Goulart said the city has been planning to extend Patterson Avenue for at least six years. He said the extension would improve ingress and egress for a number of “land-locked” businesses off Patterson Avenue. Goulart said the city takes a business-friendly attitude and will accommodate Healthcare Properties as best it can, and could provide a curb cut for them. The corporation refused to donate an easement for the project, the city manager said.
Goulart told the council the city’s engineering firm, Arcadis, evaluated the site and was unable to find an alternative route for the road extension. Arcadis engineer Jimmy Hyma said a road extension could cross utility lines, but a road cannot be placed on top of utility lines, which would have been the case for Patterson Avenue, he said.
The city will advertise the condemnation through a public notice during the next several weeks, Goulart said.
The next regular city council meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday, May 14.