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Council: Roswell won’t pay for Brumbelow traffic light
by Joan Durbin
October 31, 2012 12:18 PM | 3298 views | 4 4 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
If Johns Creek wants a traffic signal at on Nesbit Ferry Road at Brumbelow Road, it’s going to have to cough up the cash all by itself.

All of Nesbit Ferry Road in that area is within Roswell city limits. Some Johns Creek residents have complained to that city’s council that they can’t make safe turns from Brumbelow onto Nesbit Ferry without a traffic light.

Roswell city council members effectively said “thanks, but no thanks” to Johns Creek’s proposal that the two cities split the cost of the signal. As part of that deal, Johns Creek also wanted Roswell to repave roughly two miles of Nesbit Ferry around Brumbelow and then cede the road to Johns Creek, which would then maintain it.

Steve Acenbrak, Roswell’s transportation director, said estimated cost of the repaving is $272,000. The traffic signal’s total cost should be around $100,000, he said.

“If we’re going to pay $272,000 to pave the road, let them annex it, and give them $100,000 to put in a light, where do we come ahead on this? We don’t. We get nothing. Zero,” said Councilwoman Becky Wynn.

Mayor Jere Wood, who has been negotiating with Johns Creek representatives on Roswell’s behalf, asked Acenbrak what it might cost to maintain the two miles “long term” after repaving.

Acenbrak said the city probably spends “a couple hundred a year” for that stretch of road. That annual cost could change depending on the number of potholes and utility cuts that need repairing, he said.

Nesbit Ferry already is near the top of Roswell’s list for repaving, so the city had already intended to spend those dollars, the mayor said.

He suggested the council authorize him to offer to split control of the road as long as Roswell had an easement for a future multiuse trail and an operating agreement with Johns Creek for traffic signal timing. Roswell would repave its segment and pay half of the signal cost, he said. Financially, that would work out to the same expenditure as repaving the whole two miles.

But a majority of council didn’t see it that way, saying they saw no benefit to giving up any of the roadway.

“Right now we’ve got control of it,” Councilman Jerry Orlans said. “If we’re going to spend the money to repave why not keep control? Maintenance is minimal. We can probably make that up in [traffic] citations.”

Residents who want to turn onto Nesbit Ferry from Brumbelow to get to Holcomb Bridge Road have other ways to get there, Wynn said. “It’s not as if we’re landlocking them.”

And there are many other intersections and roadways in Roswell that are much more of a safety concern than that corner, she added. “If we were going to spend $100,000 for a traffic light, that’s not where I’d spend it,” Wynn said.

Wood said if the council has no counteroffer other than just repaving the road, negotiations with Johns Creek would effectively be ended.

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