According to an article by Debbie Lurie-Smith of the Jones County News, the Jones County Public Works Committee of the Board of Commissioners is tying to find a solution to deteriorating roads. The county requires timber company bonds to ensure that timber companies will repair roads adversely affected by their work. Board members are dissatisfied with the current treatment of the bonds because they are transferable and thus difficult to track and enforce.
According to the article, the county currently requires timber companies to supply a $3,000 Georgia surety bond before they begin cutting trees. Roads are examined before and after projects. If problems are found following a project, the bonds should be used to fund road repairs. These surety bonds are transferable, though, and the county says timber companies are transferring the bonds before road conditions can be evaluated. This leaves the county unable to make claims against bonds if problems arise. Board members believe using non-transferable might be a viable option that’s in the best interest of the community.
It is unclear as to whether the county has ever made any formal claims on any of the bonds. If the county can find a way to track the bond transfers, the timber companies might possibly be held accountable to pay for road repairs, but the situation is indeed sticky.
No specific solution was decided upon during the board’s May 26 meeting.