ATLANTA (January 25, 2011) – A Senate resolution urging the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) to have a standby list of private contractors for state weather emergencies was introduced Monday by State Sen. Mullis (R-Chickamauga).   Senate Resolution 31 also calls for GDOT to pre-authorize local governments to aid efforts for clearing state roads when necessary. 

Mullis believes the winter storm that paralyzed much of north Georgia several weeks ago signals a strong cry for a statewide coordinated effort going forward in dealing with icy road conditions. “The bottom line is GDOT needs help and we must find any and all proactive solutions so Georgians do not have to deal with dangerous conditions that shut down north Georgia schools and businesses for days and days at a time,” said Mullis.  “The state does not have enough equipment needed to handle such a weather emergency like the one we just had nor is it prudent to spend taxpayer dollars on machinery that will only be used once every 15 years.  We have multiple contractors here in Georgia ready and able to help pick up the slack and get our roads and highways back to safe traveling conditions as soon as possible.  Local and county governments also have personnel and machinery that can be utilized for state roads that GDOT cannot get to as quickly.  It is time we have a statewide response plan for these types of events going forward and I will do all I can to ensure one is in place as soon as possible.” 

Mullis recently began his sixth term as state senator and was appointed once again to serve as Senate Transportation committee chairman.  The committee will hold its first meeting of the 2011 General Assembly Tuesday at the State Capitol.