Commissioners will take up the issue at their Tuesday meeting.
The new employees will work for the county Department of Transportation, primarily to work on sidewalks that are part of the 2011 SPLOST program, said Dan McDuff, deputy transportation director.
The total budget item will cost the county $602,000 per year. Bill Shelton, Cobb DOT road maintenance division manager, said that includes salaries, equipment and concrete.
The six workers will be paid between $21,000 and $31,000 annually, not including benefits, Shelton said. The money is being transferred from SPLOST funds into the DOT’s operating budget.
McDuff said the county is hiring the workers to build sidewalks because it will save money. McDuff said using county workers will cost around $125,000 a mile, compared to $300,000 for contractors. This will allow the county to install nine more miles of sidewalk over the four-year SPLOST.
Still, the county is not abandoning contractors for the sidewalk projects. McDuff said it plans to spend $8.4 million on contractor-led projects, compared to $2 million for sidewalks using county crews.
Certain jobs require contractors, McDuff said.
“If there are lots of walls, lots of grading, things like that, we would certainly like to go to a contractor,” he said.
The county will also have a public hearing on the closure of Turner Road east of Barrett Parkway, located off Macland Road in west Cobb. Commissioner Helen Goreham, who represents the area that includes the road, said West Cobb Funeral Home is asking the county close and abandon the public right-of-way on the road in order to expand, possibly adding a parking lot.
“It’s needed from a development standpoint,” Goreham said. “That part of Turner Road is not functional and doesn’t connect to anything.”
McDuff said Turner Road basically became a dead-end street once it was split up due to the construction of Barrett Parkway. At one point, the part of Turner Road that’s up for closure had mobile homes located on it, but the trailers are now all located west of Barrett Parkway.
“There’s really no purpose to the road,” he said.
Public hearings are required any time a county road is closed, McDuff said.
The Board of Commissioners meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday in their second floor meeting room at 100 Cherokee St. in Marietta.