County working on new funds for road maintenance
Have you ever complained about your county commissioner? My road needs grading. My road has potholes. Why don’t they come out and fix my roads? You probably have. I know I have, as I too live off a county road. So why isn’t your road graded and/or the potholes fixed?
Well, the number one reason is money. We have almost 1,000 miles of roads to maintain in the county. About 200 miles of these roads are paved and the rest are gravel or base. It takes a lot of expensive equipment, materials and good operators to keep the roads in good shape. For example, Precinct 2 just bought a used late model road grader at a cost of about $200,000. We need more base on the roads, but that too costs money. We estimate that we need at least $1 million for each precinct to put adequate base on our roads. In some places where there is heavy use by large oil trucks, such as in the Gause area, the base is so thin, it is hard to grade without hitting dirt.
We need more equipment, base and help, but the issue of course, is money. Most of the money for roadwork comes from our taxes. Occasionally, we get some grant money, but grants are few and far between and they are limited to certain types of roads, such as those frequently used by big trucks. So, by far, our county tax money is what we have to depend on to keep the roads in shape. To make matters worse, each commissioner took a significant tax cut for 2019 due to the loss of tax revenues from Luminant. Thus, it is harder to get as much done, with less money to work with. Our roads are vital to our personal transportation and for economic development of the county.
Your commissioners are aware of this and want the roads to be in good shape. We are working on a couple of avenues to generate new funds for road maintenance. We are going to meet with some of the oil companies in the near future that are heavily using many of the roads in the Gause area to get assistance with repairs. We are hoping the Texas Legislature will enact new legislation as it did two years ago to provide additional grant money to repair heavily used county roads. Further, we do not plan to ask for additional precinct budget cuts in 2020 and I am so hopeful that the new business we are working so hard to get will provide additional revenues.
In the meantime, I ask for your understanding and your patience. Your commissioner will do his best to maintain the roads as we know how important they are to everybody. Each of the four commissioners and every road and bridge employee is committed to doing the best they can to keep our roads in shape.