Monroe County Commissioners voted  3-2 vote on Thursday, Nov. 5 to spend $162,579 from its 2020 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) to pave the remainder of McCowan Road.

Commissioners had previously approved to pave 5,300 feet of McCowan Road using 2021 Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant funds but opted not to pave the remaining 2,620 feet of McCowan Road due to right-of-way problems. However, McCowan Road residents have subsequently asked District 2 Commissioner Eddie Rowland for the road to be fully paved. So commissioners will contract with Tifton-based Watkins & Associates for $42,500 for engineering on the project. They will also pay the paving company, Marietta-based Blount Construction, an additional $120,079 to complete the road. Rowland strongly advocated for completing McCowan Road, saying it is frequently used as a cut-through road for South and West Monroe County residents. However, District 3 Commissioner John Ambrose pushed back, saying it would severely eat into the county’s available road funds, particularly coming two days after voters rejected a one-cent Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (TSPLOST). Commissioner Rowland’s motion passed 3-2 with Commissioner Ambrose and District 1 Commissioner Larry Evans opposed.