By a 17-1 unanimous vote, Weakley County commissioners lent support to designating the portion of State Route 22 that runs from east of Martin to Union City as an interstate highway link to I-69.
At the first session of 2011, commissioners met Monday night and raced through the agenda before pausing to take extra time with a resolution that had Commissioner Bob Bell cautioning commisioners to “think about what you’re doing.”
Commissioner David Hawks explained that this resolution, 2011-24, resembled a resolution that had been read before, but the current resolution was amended to describe a “direct connection” to the interstate.
“The four-lane 22 highway coming from the 431 connection all the way around Martin, even on the east side where 45 is, will be designated as I-169 because it is a limited-acess highway,” Hawks explained by utilization of a map. “If you’re looking at economic development for the county, that would be a great impact. This would connect 45 and 22 to Interstate 69 with a direct connection so that’s the purpose of this resolution. We talked to Fincher. Most of this will be federal money although the state will determine where the road goes. Mr. Fincher is on board with it. We’ve talked to Mr. Holt about it. We’ve talked to Bill Sanderson in Obion County about it. Gov. Haslam has been approached with it. The Weakley County Economic Board has put forth a resolution for this. The Martin Economic Board has put forth a resolution for this. I’m a member of the Workforce Investment Board in Jackson and represent Weakley County on that board. They have also approved the resolution in support of this.”
Bell mentioned that due to Weakley County’s being “primarily a rural county,” if the road is designated as I-69, combines and tractors would no longer be able to travel down the route.
Westbrook agreed with Bell, but emphasized the impact of the decision as being a positive and crucial step for economic development.
Rep. Andy Holt admitted it would be “beneficial to say we have direct access to the interstate.”
“We’re not designating anything. We’re asking the state,” Commissioner Jimmy Westbrook reminded.
The resolution passed unanimously with Bell casting a negative vote.
Other resolutions that passed included:
• Resolution 2011-19 to honor Roy Sims for his donation for indigent burial expenses;
• Resolutions 2011-20 and 2011-21 for amendments to the general purpose school fund and general fund for emergency management;
• Resolution 2011-22 to approval a list of county roads for 2010;
• Resolution 2011-23 to request unclaimed balance of accounts remitted to state treasurer under the Unclaimed Property Act.
Jeff Washburn was appointed as county attorney and Gary Hall will fill the vacancy on the Weakley County Ag Extension committee.
The next meeting of the Weakley County Commission will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, March 21 in the Weakley County Courthouse.