Several items were discussed last week by Forsyth County commissioners at a work session. All votes from the meeting were 5-0 unless otherwise noted.
Deputies to get new weapons
Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office deputies will soon have new guns, as commissioners unanimously approved KEEPRS to purchase Glock firearms with an officer buyback program and trade-in miscellaneous shotguns, rifles and pistols. The weapons are expected by October.
“This is an opportunity for us to upgrade the weapons our officers carry on their sides,” Sheriff Ron Freeman said. “It increases their firepower. It increases the accuracy rate. Everyone that has switched to these guns from the guns we are currently carrying has seen better accuracy results.”
Freeman said the firearms would also reduce ammo costs and improve officer safety.
“I hate to sit here and say [they will] increase firepower, but we are the agency that had a deputy wounded Sunday a week ago when we took 60-70 rounds from an AK47 being fired at us. I had deputies with AR-15s get outgunned,” he said.
Commissioners approved another bid for the sheriff’s office worth over $105,000 to West Chatham Warning Devices for equipment for Ford Interceptor Utility and sedans.
Proposed ordinance aims to stop cut-through traffic
Commissioners also voted to have County Attorney Ken Jarrard draft an ordinance to limit drivers who cut through private property to avoid traffic signals and other traffic controls devices. Freeman said he looked at several other ordinances.
“It is something that I hear at the sheriff’s office,” Freeman said. “I think this is something I hear from [residents], and it’s a safety issue. I had it in a daycare center; people are cutting through a daycare center through the parking lot to avoid red lights, and I started really paying attention.”
After hearing from Freeman, commissioners decided to move ahead with and favored a plan that would have property owners request a sign from the county that lays out the ordinance.
The draft ordinance will be discussed at a future meeting.
South Forsyth roads being widened
Some new roadwork will be coming to south Forsyth as commissioners approved bids for construction of a sidewalk along Trammel Road and the widening of Brookwood Road.
The bid for the sidewalk was awarded to TriScapes Inc., for about $862,000. All work is expected to be completed by Nov. 30, and funding will come from the county’s transportation bond, which was approved by voters in 2014.
The road will be widened from the Windermere project to Buford Highway (Hwy. 20 east).
The widening of Brookwood Road was awarded to CMES Inc., for $7,087,796.
“It is basically from McGinnis Ferry to [Hwy.] 141,” Procurement Director Donna Kukarola said. “It also includes the realignment of Caney Road away from [Hwy.] 141 and a signal at that location.”
The road will have a 6-foot sidewalk on one side and a 10-foot multi-use path on the other.