Frustrations over roadwork leads to heated discussion at supervisors meeting

By NIKKI ROWELL,

After round three in the battle over the Madison County’s 2019 road plan, another attempt to fund road projects in District Four has failed.

Residents of District Four continue to voice road concerns during the public comment portion of the board of supervisors’ meetings.

District Four Supervisor David Bishop again made a motion to fund $850,000 worth of road projects with money from the county’s general fund.

The road projects Bishop is seeking funding for were originally part of the 2019 road plan, but the board voted last month to move funding to other road projects in the county.

The motion failed 3-2, with District Three Supervisor Gerald Steen seconding.

The roads Bishop said were removed include Cane Creek Road, Gus Green Road, Hammack Road, Harris Road, Livingston Drive, Bidon Drive, McCullough Lane, Society Ridge, Windermere Boulevard and Windy Hill Drive.

If general fund money is used on roads, a portion of that has to be shared with the cities.

Steen, who has voted with Bishop on this issue, said sharing funds for road projects with the cities is a good thing.

County Comptroller Greg Higginbotham said if the county took $750,000 from the general fund for the road projects, then the total expenditure would be $1.05 million. If they moved $800,000 then it would be $1.129 million.

Moving $850,000 from the general fund, would come to a total expenditure of $1.2 million.

“It would also help the cities out,” Steen said. “Guys, that’s a good thing too.”

He also pointed out that the budget was set based on two percent growth. However, he said the county grew over four percent last year.

“The money is in the general fund for emergencies,” Steen said. “Talking about emergencies, what is your thought or suggestion that we need to keep in the general fund in case of a catastrophe somewhere?” he asked Higginbotham.

Higginbotham said $8 to $10 million “could fund the county for a while.”

District Five Supervisor Paul Griffin said he could not support taking money from the general fund for these projects when he has roads in his own district that need to be fixed.

“Our budget is five months old, right?” District One Supervisor Sheila Jones asked. “It sounds to me that we did some poor planning if we’re fixing to take money out of the general fund.”

Bishop made a motion to fund the District Four road projects with money from the general fund. The motion failed 3-2.

 

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