Stanly commissioners vote against supporting DOT application for roundabout funding

The possibility of a roundabout coming to the intersection of Millingport Road and N.C. Highway 73 became more difficult after a Stanly commissioners’ decision to not support the idea.

At the recent meeting of the Stanly County Board of Commissioners, the board voted 6-1 against a resolution which representatives of the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) had requested to show support for a roundabout for the intersection.

DOT officials made a presentation (https://www.thesnaponline.com/2022/07/18/millingport-road-four-way-stop-may-become-roundabout-dot-says/ ) to the commissioners last month requesting a resolution supporting the DOT’s attempt to secure funds for a roundabout.

Chairman Tommy Jordan reiterated county commissioners do not have any decision-making authority over what the DOT does. He said he emailed DOT, saying the department “gave the public the impression that we have other choices.”

Jordan added DOT “is done with (the intersection). They are effectively finished. They are happy forever for it to remain a four-way stop sign. They do not see the need to go any further.”

However, he said, if citizens or commissioners “would prefer to have a roundabout…(DOT) would be glad to out and seek the funding.” Jordan said other counties compete for the same funds.

The chairman said he would rather see a roundabout than a four-way stop. He introduced a resolution which if signed would have shown support for DOT to try to find funds for the project.

Vice Chairman Zack Almond said he was not thrilled the issue was brought up again, emphasizing the board “has virtually no influence on DOT.”

County Manager Andy Lucas said the resolution was for the Board to support DOT’s application for funds and not stating what kind of intersection the board preferred.

In discussing the motion to approve, Commissioner Peter Asciutto said the DOT was set on the four-way stop, adding it had the same safety impact as a roundabout but for less money.

“I just don’t see spending extra money for something that has the same safety features,” Asciutto said.

Commissioner Bill Lawhon also voted against, stating he felt DOT should get more public opinion on four-way stops, stoplights and roundabouts before proceeding.

“It’s my opinion (DOT) had the heat on them, and I think they want the commissioners to take a little heat. Therefore, I vote against the resolution because I didn’t make the decision to begin with,” Lawhon said.

Jordan made the motion, seconded by Asciutto, but only Jordan voted in favor of the motion.